WHEREVER you have deep, pervasive poverty – on the level we see daily in Nicaragua – you can be sure malnutrition also figures into the equation.

Honestly, using a bland, technical word like "malnutrition" somehow removes the raw, human, factor from its harsh reality. See, unless you have actually experienced it in your OWN body, you simply cannot fully understand the suffering these people endure. These children do not just lack a few key nutrients in their daily diets. They are LITERALLY starving. Even when they find bits of food to eat – in the trash or town dump – you can imagine its nutritional value!

Enjoying the fruits of their labors, together.

Starvation is a slow, grueling death, gradually BREAKING DOWN your internal organs. Your immune system can no longer fight-off even the most minor infections and viruses. Your skin becomes dry and leathery. You live in constant pain, unable to concentrate on anything you're doing. Eventually, your muscles stiffen and cramp as you try to hunt for food.

You only wish you could die a quick death, instead of slooooowly wasting away.

And the ONLY suffering worse than starvation, is standing helplessly by as you watch your CHILDREN starve.

That’s why, as a part of our campaigns to build homes there, we have also given 40 families around San Agustin, Nicaragua bio-intensive farming knowledge and practical applications. Each family received a designated garden plot in their backyard, where they now grow lettuce, peppers, carrots, radishes and onions... complete with training from a professional agronomist who actually lives in Nicaragua.

And it's not just a "one-and-done" training – it is ongoing. Recently, the families learned how to apply lime sulfur to their crops, to better manage pests and diseases in their gardens. They have also learned about vegetable growth, pest control, disease management, fertilization and irrigation.

We started the project by providing tools and equipment, and helping them prepare the soil. Our trainer brought them seeds and fertilizers, and regularly monitors their progress. Then, each farm received a 200-liter barrel to run their drip irrigation system, as well as machetes, files, pitchforks, shovels, hoes and pickaxes.

This might sound so elementary, but if you’ve watched your children starve because all you could feed them is garbage, this is a life-transforming moment. These families are out in their gardens from sun-up to sun-down, making sure EVERY stack and leaf is productive.

Their future – and for maybe the first time ever – is now a future filled with HOPE.

If you can grow vegetables, you can feed families. You can improve community health. You can increase productivity in the entire area. You can change the way they see themselves.

It would be easy to think of this as a "side" benefit of building these homes, but it's so much more than that. Words simply cannot express the MAJOR difference fresh vegetables can make in a family. We take it for granted here... even having the nerve to throw away vegetables, just because we don’t like the flavor.

To us, this may seem like such a "little" thing, but for the families we assist in Nicaragua, this represents a whole new LIFE.

And YOU made it possible!

Thank you!

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