During the long first months of the pandemic, Compassion partner churches across Mexico rushed to set up food pantries and provide groceries and supplies to families. But as quarantines and lockdowns and infections spread, they knew they would need to help families come up with long-term support.
Now, many Compassion centers are giving seeds and chickens to beneficiaries’ families to cultivate and raise in their backyards for their own consumption or for trade. One center in Puebla set an example by building their own garden at the church. It is a place where they teach parents the skills they need to grow their own fruits and vegetables.
About 40 families have been involved in the process, growing coriander, carrots, zucchini, onions, chard and tomatoes. Thirteen-year-old Mayra’s family received seeds to plant a home garden, which helped her parents, Dionisia and Martin, immensely. Their economic situation had been harsh because their work is not stable, and the situation worsened with the pandemic.
“In the time of coffee harvest, they pay us depending on how much grain we cut. In a hard day of work, I get to cut 80 to 100 kilos of coffee grains and I can earn around $10.05 USD,” Dionisia says. After planting their home garden, she says, “I feel very happy with all the support and trainings the center has provided us to make this come true.”
Leaving behind 2020, a year full of unexpected surprises, losses and changes, Compassion Mexico will continue to support church partners facing challenges with hope for the future.