CARMEN MORALES PUISEGUR
BY UE STUDIO
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"Working with the technicians is very important." For Erika Elizabeth they are knowledge, guidance and the hands that have held them in their transformation into a beekeeper. She and Karina Inestrosa star in the third chapter of the docuseriesLa Oportunidad, a project of Ayuda en Acción that tells stories of overcoming. Erika and Karina show that it is possible to change course with encounters that offer other horizons.
Madriz, in the Dry Corridor of Nicaragua, concentrates almost all the current ills. Extreme drought, climate change and a lot of poverty are our daily bread; In this context, agriculture and small livestock are the main livelihoods. Many men migrate to other countries and leave behind their wives, who are left alone to care for the family in adverse conditions. "There weren't that many opportunities for us women," Erika Elizabeth sums up if she looks back. There are still societies in which girls are educated so that, when they become adults, they take care of their home and limit themselves to having children. Erika, for example, was one of them.
Ayuda en Acción was installed 30 years ago in Nicaragua. During these three decades, he has built a team of workers who know almost all the ins and outs of the area. A support network that provides tools for the promotion of employment and entrepreneurship in young people and women victims of violence. Among its objectives, to eliminate any type of discrimination by promoting the economic emancipation of women, young people and indigenous peoples.
Beekeepers, during their working day.
Also, the construction of spaces free of violence in which peaceful coexistence and solidarity are promoted. And, fundamentally, provide them with tools so that they are able to defend their rights against any violence. "My life has changed a lot because I have the opportunity to meet another new field. I didn't know anything about beekeeping," explains Karina Inestrosa. Participating in the Ayuda en Acción project allowed her to access "training on leadership, self-esteem and gender issues." Today, she is the new president of a cooperative that brings together 23 women who trade their own honey.
CHAPTER 3. MADRIZ (NICARAGUA)
- ERIKA: "Sometimes they say that women can't work, but we can"
As a child, Erika Elizabeth dreamed of becoming a nurse but could not study. "My childhood wasn't the big childhood you want to have. I didn't get to have a professional career because there were no economic resources," he recalls. In addition, she points out another factor: "I myself think I took away that dream because we grew up knowing that who could be at work was the man."
Erika lives in a humble village in the department of Madriz and raises her daughter alone. He subsisted on the cultivation of corn and beans, but the lack of rain lasted so long that feeding himself and achieving a minimum income was impossible. The combination of poverty, inequality, lack of opportunity and the impact of Cyclone El Niño forced her to leave her home.
"We were afraid to start with bees, afraid to go to the apiary. Now, for me, there is no fear."
Erika Elizabeth, beekeeper
Until a beekeeping project of Ayuda en Acción in collaboration with the Xunta de Galicia crossed his path. She sensed the opportunity and promised herself that she would seize it. She did so much that today, along with 174 other colleagues, she is part of the Cooperative of Production of Women Entrepreneurs of San Lucas. At first, he recalls, "we were afraid to start with bees, afraid to go to the apiary. Now, for me, there is no such thing as fear."
The business managed to survive the pandemic and has even diversified. Now, they sell soaps, creams, shampoos and medicinal products. Ayuda en Acción maintains its constant support. "When we arrived in these communities, the young women were a bit shy, afraid to know and know what they could do," explains Ima Tamara Lagos, territorial area technician of Ayuda en Acción. With support and work, the situation for these women has been reversed.
- KARINA: "I would like you to see what we do; The money they give is not lost."
"The technicians of Ayuda en Acción have been too important a figure because they prepare us for how to do the job. They are aware of everything," says Karina Inestrosa, 27. She lives in the community of El Mamel (Totogalpa) and remembers a happy childhood with her mother and uncle. With a lot of work and sacrifice, she managed to access studies. An exception in his world. "There are no women with their own businesses because most of them do not leave their homes," she says.
Today, he finds time to combine classes with honey production. "It's a completely huge challenge," he admits. A challenge that she approves with outstanding since she runs a cooperative with 23 women.
"The technicians of Ayuda en Acción have been too important a figure because they prepare us for how to do the job"
Karina Inestro, teacher and beekeeper
Ayuda en Acción always trusted in the talent and abilities of these women. Therefore, its strategy focused on training them in leadership issues and spaces have been created for them to know their rights. Also, so that they are protagonists of their community and, of course, of their own lives. It has stressed the need to recognize what it means to live in areas affected by climate change and how they can respond to it.
These women are going to have a future. And I believe that their generation and the generation that comes behind, their daughters and nieces, who are entering this work dynamic with a different mentality of being a woman, businesswoman and entrepreneur will have a better future, "predicts Francisco Ruiz, territorial area technician of Ayuda en Acción. By work, own right and opportunity, so it will be.
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This text has been developed by UE Studio, creative branded content and content marketing firm of Unidad Editorial, for AYUDA EN ACCIÓN
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