Indigenous Women Farmers Gain Economic Autonomy

Kisalaya is an Indigenous village on the North Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. It’s also the site of Harvesting Hope, an organic community agriculture project supported by MADRE members. The project started with only 30 women, and there are now 90 participants–and Ester Tomas is one of them.

Yifat Susskind, MADRE's Executive Director, and Ester Tomas during a recent trip to Nicaragua.
Yifat Susskind, MADRE’s Executive Director, and Ester Tomas during a recent trip to Nicaragua.

When MADRE staff recently visited Kisalaya, Ester shared what Harvesting Hope has meant for her family. Their family’s diet has improved, from eating the healthy, organic produce. What’s more, she is able to sell her surplus of crops at the market. “I harvested 40 pounds of tomatoes this year. Because of MADRE, I can pay for my children to go to school,” she said.

Harvesting Hope is one way that MADRE partners with our sisters at Wangki Tangni to improve the health of Indigenous women and families. We provide Miskita women with vegetable seeds and teach them farming skills. Additionally, the project emphasizes the preservation of traditional Indigenous knowledge of natural resource management.

Today, thanks to this project, the women rely less on costly imported foods and have become leaders in their community.

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