Roselvina De León González smiles as she dices tomatoes and onions she grew in her garden plot, chatting casually with a guest as she prepares a nutritious meal for her family. She beams with pride as she shows off the star of the show: a meaty oyster mushroom she grew in the greenhouse module she co-owns with her brother Oribel. Joy made possible by the generosity of caring congregations like yours.
Oribel and Roselvina have learned to cultivate these mushrooms near their home in the Cantón Pin Pin community in Tacaná, Guatemala. The siblings have improved their own and their families’ health by adding the mushrooms — which contain fiber, protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals — to their diets, and they have also begun earning an income by selling them to their neighbors.
“Because I take care of my health, I take care of my neighbor’s health, of my family’s health, by consuming this nutritious food,” Roselvina says.
“We have learned how to feed our families, how to feed our children,” adds Rosaura Sunun Gomez, an agricultural developer and local Lutheran World Relief partner. Rosaura receives training in agricultural practices and dietary needs and then shares the information with local community members like Roselvina and Oribel, who in turn share it with their neighbors. She gives families the knowledge and skills they need to produce their own food.
Addressing the challenges that lead to migration
Your love shared through Lutheran World Relief not only enables families to avoid traveling to markets to buy their food, but it also helps them stay in their communities rather than migrate to seek work.
Roselvina and Oribel’s sister tried twice to immigrate to the USA because of lack of economic opportunities in their local community, but she was turned away. Roselvina sees every day how opportunities like oyster mushroom farming are changing the lives of people like her sister, who has since returned to the community. “To no longer think about migrating is the goal,” says Roselvina.
Thanks to the generosity of Lutherans in the US, the education they’ve received has empowered Roselvina and Rosaura and other women like them, in a community where agriculture was traditionally considered men’s work. “We have learned that we also can get things done as women,” Rosaura notes.
Help your neighbors find hope in their own backyards
Today, Rosaura is dreaming big. “We already know we can generate income here so that we no longer have to emigrate,” she says. “Our goal is to be a large company and not only sell here in the municipality but perhaps to export one day.”
Your congregation’s love can help empower more women like Rosaura and Roselvina to change the course of their future. Please give today to help keep families and communities together.