WRITTEN BY MARIO ROA
Marcos Pinell is a 34-year-old man living in the community of Caulatú, in Nicaragua.
He attends the Assemblies of God church “Lily of the Valley” in the community. Marcos is married and has 2 little girls who attend school at José Cecilio del Valle.
In the months of May to August, the rainy season in Caulatú wasn’t the same as the previous year. A period of intense drought set in, considerably affecting the planting of corn and beans, the region’s staple food crops. Due to the ensuing scarcity of this indispensable food source, Marcos was struggling to feed his family. The daily diet of Nicaraguans, beans and corn, rose to a price of $2.37 CND per kilo - a price completely inaccessible for the wallets of the most vulnerable families like Marcos.
During this drought period, Food for the Hungry (FH) Nicaragua distributed dehydrated vegetable soup mix provided by the International Medical Equipment Distribution (IMED) program of FH Canada. These provisions blessed Marco, and many families in the affected area. During this period of scarcity, the families consumed the soup mix every two days, making it into vegetable patties and soup.
The soup distribution permitted farmers like Marco to keep whatever beans and corn seeds they had, to plant after the drought had passed and when climate conditions had improved (the months of September and October).
Thanks to the dehydrated soup, the families in these communities not only secured nutritious and sustainable food for their children and other family members, but they also adopted a more resilient conduct in the face of the El Niño drought phenomenon. They also became better stewards of the use of their seeds for months with better environmental conditions for growing.