Don Tomás, a 52-year-old father of seven who participates in FRB’s Bolivia-Potosí program, says: “Before this program began, one of our biggest problems was water scarcity. Sometimes we were able to plant only a portion of our land, and only when the spring rains came. Now, with the installation of the sprinkler irrigation systems using water from our pond, we can save water, it gets to more families, and we are able to water more frequently with less work. So, this year, eight families were able to plant a hectare (2.47 acres) more than we did last year. There was a drought, but our crops are doing better than those of other families who don´t have this kind of irrigation."
“Another thing we learned was to plant and consume vegetables. In the past I did not plant them, but now my family is eating what I grow. My older children don´t bring in vegetables from the city anymore. They just eat the ones we produce. They say that they have a lot of flavor and that ours are better because we only use natural fertilizer. We’ve been taking some of our vegetables to the Potosí market. At first, people didn’t believe that we had grown these vegetables!”
His wife, Doña Teodora, adds, “My granddaughter Zoraida (almost 4) has been living with us for two years because my daughter had to leave her with me so she could work. I have benefitted a great deal from the trainings on how to eat better, how to prepare different kinds of dishes, how to make baby food purées, and how to make sure drinking water is free of parasites. My little girl has never gotten sick all this time because I am feeding her nourishing baby foods that I learned to make, and she likes to eat her vegetables with hard boiled eggs and potatoes.
She always drinks water that is disinfected with the SODIS (solar disinfection) method. That’s why she is nice and chubby and playful. I also make sure my plates and pots are very clean, and I clean my house. All of these activities will continue to help us all have a better life, especially my granddaughter, who is the youngest one in our family. That makes me feel good.”
Says Don Tomás, “I am very happy because we’re all well. My wife is putting into practice everything that she is learning in the trainings. For example, my granddaughter and I both like lima bean “meatballs,” which we had never even heard of before. It’s a delicious way to eat lima beans.”