Hired in 2013, Brenda Acosta is ViviendasLeón’s (VL) accounting officer as well as the program coordinator for small business projects (SME). Acosta grew up in León, Nicaragua and attended the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-León). She lives in León with her husband and her 17-year-old daughter.
Acosta has always been passionate about working with numbers and finance, along with beekeeping. She first began studying agronomy, the science of soil management and crop production, and later decided to focus her studies on personal finance in hope of earning a more secure income.
“In the beginning, I started studying agriculture because I liked that career but my mom didn’t have that much money for me to continue studying…so I decided to do a technical career and later pay (for) my university career. So I started working…and later, my boss motivated and inspired me to continue studying at the university (UNAN-León) and so I returned to finish my university degree.”
“After that I always continued to work. I wanted to gain experience in the humanitarian field, but my previous job took a lot of my time away from my daughter.”
Pursuing an interest in humanitarian work
Brenda began working for VL, where she believes she is able to interact with and assist communities more, in comparison to her previous jobs.
“Later I started working with VL because I saw the opportunity to work within the community and pursue my interests in humanitarian work.”
“As a coordinator of VL, I help people in the community of León to devise, work together and implement successful projects (such as) The Arts and Youth program, Carpentry and Sewing, (and) the SME (Small and Medium Business) projects. These were delivered in 2015 to 2018. Currently we have Human Training, Agroforestry, Scholarships, and Bees.”
“I love working with the VL team, (and) I support them. My goal is to continue to grow the organization, and look for new projects.”
Continuing her training
Acosta is taking a Forensic Expert Accountant Certification course to increase her skills of identifying fraud, which can better protect VL’s organization. She also recognizes the importance of advancing the economic situation of families in rural Nicaragua as well as maintaining their motivation to continue the successful utilization of their given resources.
Acosta promotes VL’s HCT program as “continuing the cycle of practical courses and the motivation for members to participate in those courses that help especially in forestry and agricultural education.”
A passion for small business
One of her favorite projects started within VL is the women-led honey brand COABE in the community of León.
“I hope to continue expanding COABE’s market by diversifying their honey products with soaps and shampoos, increasing nuclei to develop more hives, and creating a collection project so that families who have farms can sell their products. Creating a small business so that families can benefit.”
Acosta has many various project ideas for future implementation to VL.
“We have a scholarship program, where we provide support to students, giving them tutoring and the benefit to continue and finish their university studies.”
Acosta also aims to implement the utilization of resourceful animals including iguanas, quails, and tilapia fish.
“This initiative is for the families to acquire a good nutritional and economic benefit. The quail egg is healthier and has many nutritional properties, and has no cholesterol. The iguana is another initiative that we have for the future, since with this SME we would be supporting families with good nutritional, economic and environmental food. The Garrobo meat that we call ‘iguana’, is a healthy white meat for human consumption. We help the environment (through) cultivation of the iguana because 20% of the production should be released to its natural habitat to help the species increase in the wild.”
"In the future we intend to create a tilapia fish farm as part of a healthy diet and at the same time the water from the tilapia will be used as an organic fertilizer for the vegetable farms, as well as creating additional income from its commercialization."
Learn more about our successful program in What We Do