Seventeen-year-old Sulamita loves being outside, tending to the farm at the Compassion center where she is registered in Guatemala. When she received the exciting news that the staff wanted to establish a farm for her family, she ran home to tell her mother and six siblings.
The center had decided to create 15 small farms at the homes of vulnerable families. However, at the time, they didn't know what lay ahead — a global pandemic, market closures and job losses. The farms would soon become a lifeline for the families, being their primary source of food and protecting them from hunger.
Miguel, the farming tutor at the center, looks back in awe of the timing. "It was like God was telling us to prepare for hunger before it started to increase," he says. "We consider ourselves blessed because we started the farms before the pandemic."
Sulamita and her mother, Julia, had a strong start selling their harvest. "Since my father left us, my mother has worked hard to provide for us," says Sulamita. "She was a seller before the pandemic, selling some of the vegetables for money to pay for school and anything we needed."
While market restrictions due to COVID-19 have limited Julia’s sales, she is still able to grow vegetables to feed her family. “Thanks to God, we have what we need — we have food,” says Julia. “We use the spinach to eat with tamales that I make from the corn, and carrot with rice, which is very nutritious and delicious."
Gratefully, Sulamita adds, “I can’t imagine my life without Jesus and the Compassion center.”