SHARE Visits a Local Farmer’s Market
Every 15 days, local farmers and artisans come together to sell their produce and simple crafts in the UCRES region of La Cabaña, just north of El Paisnal. You can find most anything at this colorful market, including: homemade candies, limes, homemade cheeses, cream, papaya, pineapple, spinach and other greens, loroco, squash, green peppers, ornamental plants, and a variety of fabric crafts, such as small thin towels called mantas, used for storing hot tortillas. An assortment of food is also available for purchase: coffee, homemade pastries, pasteles, and a cinnamon, rice, and milk snack known as arroz con leche.
Many of the women who participate in the farmers’ market received training in agricultural techniques and small business practices through SHARE’s partnering organization, UCRES. The 2013 women’s empowerment project, supported by SHARE’s Grassroots Partners, provided opportunities for women to learn to plant and manage their own home vegetable gardens, among many other skills. FECORACEN, a local agricultural cooperative affiliated with another SHARE partner, CONFRAS, facilitated workshops on organic fertilizers, garden set-up and management, soil types, and vegetable types and diseases.
Rosa Delia Pinto from San Antonio Grande was kind enough to share her experience as a vendor in the farmers’ market and participant in the garden workshops. Aside from tending her small garden, in which she grows eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, green onions, jicama, and jalapeño peppers, she is also very active in local organizations. She serves as the legal representative for the local women’s association, is a member of the Nonviolence Committee, and a literacy promoter with MINED (the Ministry of Education) in San Antonio Grande.
“(This project) has helped us immensely … even though it’s a small amount (that we sell in the markets) we almost always sell everything,” Rosa sells pineapple, loroco, homemade cheeses and cream, and arroz con leche at her small stand. She makes the cheese and cream herself from fresh local cow’s milk that she gets from El Verdío, a small community nearby.
Rosa’s story is just one small testament to the impact of regional women’s projects in El Salvador. SHARE is looking forward to continued support for 2014 projects, including additional home vegetable gardens in the UCRES region. Consider supporting women’s empowerment in El Salvador by purchasing a solidarity gift or making a donation.