Rosa and her family live in a remote Guatemalan village. To get to work on time, Rosa started her day at 3 a.m. She needed to prepare food and clothing for her children before she walked three hours to a neighboring town.

Rosa would spend her morning washing clothes for other families. By the afternoon, she would head back home, feeling exhausted.

For many years, Rosa thought washing clothes was the only way she could make a living. Without a formal education, it was difficult for her to find work.

Rosa and her husband decided to try growing cardamom to earn a better income and make things easier for their family. It took them nearly 10 years to see an increase in their earnings. Then, in 1998, all of their hard work was destroyed. Hurricane Mitch brought torrential rain and wind to Rosa’s community. Everything Rosa’s family was growing in their field was lost.

The destruction was heartbreaking for Rosa’s husband. His mental health began to suffer, and he stopped helping Rosa in their fields. Rosa quickly felt the brunt of her family’s financial strain and was forced to continue working and supporting her family alone.

Then World Renew and its local partner, the Association for Integral Development Polochic (ADIP), met Rosa and invited her to participate in agriculture training. She learned new techniques to help her improve the soil and increase her harvest.

Now Rosa is growing a variety of crops, including coffee, pineapples, bananas, and avocados.
“I invite other women to follow the steps I took to overcome poverty,” said Rosa. “I am motivated and asking God to give me the strength to continue working in my terrain for the benefit of my family.”

About the Author

Taylor Smith, World Renew