Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
In our weekly updates, we share stories of our presence and impact around the world: from disaster response, to refugee and immigration ministry, to ongoing sustainable development projects in impoverished areas. Catch up on updates you missed, or find stories you want to read and share again! Or, subscribe to receive weekly email updates.
Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty,
shade from the sun, shelter from the wind,
For the Compassionate One guides them,
takes them to the best springs. ~Isaiah 49:10
Food insecurity. Political unrest. Climate change threatening the viability of crops...
Imagine all of these things, happening at once. And then, back to back hurricanes arrive.
In November of 2020 two consecutive hurricanes--Eta and Iota-- impacted the same regions of Central America, with Nicaragua experiencing some of the most severe impact. Flooding destroyed the bean crops, contaminated water wells, destroyed latrines, and left thousands of families homeless. People moved to emergency shelters in schools and churches, but thousands didn´t have time to evacuate or preferred not to leave their homes for security reasons or fear of COVID-19.
The good news is that hurricanes didn't stop the work of our partners, or the ongoing food security programs that Week of Compassion has supported for years. In very concrete ways, these programs are part of the disaster recovery process.
Through a partnership with Growing Hope Globally, CWS, and local partner CIEETS, Week of Compassion has been invested in the region through relationships--and life-changing development projects-- for many years. This partnership works to empower 220 families in eight communities to thrive despite adversity.
Your continued support is helping these farmers plant new types of crops, find new ways of earning extra money, and sustainably care for the natural resources around them.
René Bermúdez and Iris Mercedes Canales are active participants in the CWS-supported program, taking on new initiatives and enterprises. They are working hard to ensure that their family always has enough to eat and a way to earn a living. Rene is raising stingless Melipona bees, which produce medicinal honey that he can sell. He learned about poultry raising and has started raising chickens – and now has forty hens that produce eggs, plus another 140 that he is preparing to sell! Iris says that her family’s nutrition has improved through the program. They have begun to eat a more diverse diet.
Claudia Palacios is a single mom who has struggled to take care of her children. Even though she owns a little bit of land, she has lost several harvests to the effects of climate change. “A lot of people in this community are in the same situation. When it rains too much, the crops die from disease or they’re washed away. When it doesn’t rain enough, they dry up. Either way, us farmers lose everything.” But now, Claudia is participating in the CWS-supported farming program. She’s planted beans and is working with program technicians to improve her harvests.
“We’re here, thanks be to God. And we are blessed by CIEETS and CWS with this project. It’s a blessing for us, for El Tigre, San Gregorio, Los Ranchos, San Vicente, San Antonio, all of us here. God willing, we’ll continue this work for the benefit of everyone. We are getting big changes in the weather, the climate, the rain is irregular... CIEETS has helped us a lot to adapt to the changes. We can’t rely on the sort of agriculture that we used to rely on.” ~Pastor Adan García Díaz of the Nazareno Church in El Tigre
Martin Coria, CWS Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean, recently shared an update on the impact of the hurricanes and the ongoing work in the region.
In Rio Coco, in direct response to the hurricanes, Week of Compassion and our partners helped provide immediate relief including food aid, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and COVID-19 protective equipment to more than 1,000 families in shelters and communities that could not evacuate. The recovery phase (which began in January ‘21) supports house repairs, livelihood and agriculture recovery and rehabilitation of damaged water and sanitation systems and infrastructure. The ongoing programs of our partners Growing Hope Globally will provide the solid foundation upon which these targeted projects will be implemented in the coming months.
Thankfully, none of the training centers was severely damaged by the hurricanes and in fact, they also played a role in the early recovery process. Carolina Hernandez, project manager, shared that after the hurricanes, many farmers and former training participants regrouped and gathered spontaneously at community centers to comfort each other and listen to one another. This kind of community sharing is part of what resilience is about.
Your gifts to Week of Compassion help support immediate relief from the impact of the hurricanes and COVID-19, as well as the ongoing development projects that make communities stronger and more resilient in the face of disaster. Your support empowers families to build a sustainable life – without hunger or thirst – as they learn new ways to produce food and income. Thank you for your generosity as you continue to Let Love Flow.