Generations ago, rural families in Central America farmed in traditional ways; ways that worked in a healthy and reliable environment.
Within just four generations, these families have lost the ability to farm successfully due to rapid changes in climate, contamination of soils, deforestation and reduction in rainwater.
These changes to their livelihoods and a lack of access to education, health care and employment, have left them unable to address the challenges they face.
VL addresses both the practical challenges and emotional suffering experienced by rural families.
We start with a program to strengthen personal agency and community collaboration.
We then train rural families to adopt new farming techniques that produce diversified food crops, conserve water, rebuild soils and restore the environment.
Within one year a family is able to achieve the following outcomes:
A recent series of events impacted the life of Cristina Flores profoundly:
“It began when my husband abandoned us, leaving me responsible for our three children. This left me puzzled, not knowing what to do or which way to go. I was very lonely, and had lost the motivation to live.
That same year, ViviendasLeón conducted a survey in my community and held a meeting presenting projects that they wanted to work on. I went with the intention of distracting myself, but without thinking I found the source of my motivation that I needed in my life, not just for me but for my children as well.
At the beginning I attended the human capacity training course, and during those three months I began to discover who I was as a person, my talents, my capabilities, and more importantly my value. Upon receiving my family garden, I not only made a commitment to ViviendasLeón, but also to my children and myself.
I started planting bell peppers and green beans that first season. Though I did not have a successful harvest I did not let it discourage me but rather it motivated me to keep planting vegetables for my family, and to try and produce a surplus to sell in the community and in the market in León.
My successful completion of the training program had also motivated me to take an active role in the decisions made in my community, and recognize that I can contribute to its development. ViviendasLeón has had a consistent presence in my community, giving us technical assistance and encouraging us to move forward despite the problems that arise. ViviendasLeón is more than an organization, they are part of my family.”
ViviendasLeón is currently supporting 40 family food security farms in the indigenous communities of Sutiaba, Nicaragua, providing food and nutrition for hundreds of local residents, and building essential infrastructure with rural communities in Santa Lucia Utatlán, Guatemala. See our Updates
Your gift between $10 and $10,000 will help families like Cristina's rebuild their lives.
Become a board member
ViviendasLeón welcomes those interested in joining our board of directors. Our board is made up of a diverse group of for-profit leaders and professionals, educators and non-profit professionals.
Visit our Team page to reach Evan Markiewicz in San Francisco and find out more about joining our board.