Our next generation of farming women in Nicaragua.

Alexandra Galeano with her new farming tools, Troilo Nicaragua

An interview with Alexandra Galeano

My name is Alexandra Galeano and I live in the community of Troilo, Sutiava.  I am 19 years old and married with a one-year-old girl. Being a homemaker doesn’t prevent me from continuing my education. I am currently in the 10th grade of secondary school at the Public College Salomon de la Selva in the city of León. LINK

I heard about ViviendasLeón’s programs through my aunt Karla who also lives in Troilo and has been involved in the program. The VL team had left some new program invitations with them. They recommended I register for the program. So I did and then started attending the weekly meetings that are part of the training program.

What have you learned in the HCT Training process?

I learned to socialize more easily with people around me: my neighbors, my relatives and others. I do not consider myself a person who talks much, and in the early meetings I felt very uncomfortable when we had to participate in dynamic conversations. Those of us who attended were all from the same community of Troilo. We number about 250 families here.  Participating in the talks week by week made me feel more confident. I was embarrassed to participate, but with the program I became empowered, lost my embarrassment, and now have confidence in myself and improved communication with my neighbors and family. Today I am a young woman who feels self-confident. I know that talking with people helps me to build my confidence, rely on my new network of friends, and forget my discomfort.

What knowledge did you learn in the training?

In the training we learned several topics, but in my own experience, the topic that had the most impact on me was “gender inequalities”.  I had always thought that both men and women have the same opportunities and weaknesses. But here in our communities, machismo is still deeply entrenched. There are homes where the women dedicate themselves to raising children, and I have learned that there are trades that by law in our country correspond to women. In my home this is not the case. I am supported by my husband and between the two of us we do the housework.

Were you empowered by these Human Training topics?

Yes. As a result of the program, I am now a very confident young woman. Together with my husband, we are realizing our dream of having the first and only retail plant nursery here in Troilo. Participating in HCT provided a window into making better and less risky decisions for our family. In the short term we are going to start our “Viviero Mil Flores”: We will sell various ornamental and flowering plants, fruit tree and reforestation saplings, medicinal plants and others that we will introduce as we grow. My husband and I will work together to develop our own income that allows us to grow, solve the financial needs of our home and be an example for our community that with the training, the support of ViviendasLeón and hard work we can improve our lives”.

What vision do you have for the short term?

In a few weeks I am going to start working on our “VIvero Mil Flores” (One thousand Flowers Nursery) in a more organized way. From my home I will make my dream come true. I will also start growing vegetables for our food and other vegetables on my family farm that VL gave me after I graduated from HCT. All this is a dream and now a reality that, thanks to participating in the training, I am capable of doing. Today I am and will be a woman who dreams of a better life for my family. Everything I have learned has served me to be a better person. Today I propose goals that I am sure that with time and dedication I will achieve. Thank you very much to the entire team at ViviendasLeón for betting on change in these communities where opportunities to grow are rare.