Many people have been asking the question, “How do women provide food for their families in Nicaragua?” You may be surprised to know that many of these women are employed at the electricity company, sell their produce in the market, and teach. But what exactly are they doing to support their families? Read on to find out. This is not a story about sex or money in Nicaragua.
While the UN estimates that 9 million people in Latin America are going hungry this year, it is not a statistic. Indigenous women in Nicaragua’s hurricane-prone north Atlantic coast struggle to feed their families. After Hurricane Ida in 2016, the entire rice crop was destroyed, leaving only three out of four38 families with enough food to last another year. In addition, Indigenous women in Nicaragua are still learning how to sustainably manage their livestock.
In rural areas, women have expressed a need to learn new skills. A new project started by CEPAD in 2015 will teach rural women how to sell handmade items, such as jewelry, pinatas, and typical Nicaraguan foods. The women will learn a new trade while building self-esteem and community. The project will also enable these women to earn a living by making and selling the items they make.
Moreover, Nicaragua is a particularly vulnerable country. Various socioeconomic and environmental risks have a direct impact on the country’s food systems. According to the United Nations, one in three Latin American people suffer from food insecurity. By the end of this year, the UN estimates that nine million more people in Latin America will fall into poverty. The country’s poorest region is the coastal north Atlantic coast, where the Indigenous women are most affected by natural disasters. Their rice crops were destroyed by Hurricane Ida last year, and only three families were able to harvest them this year. As a result, the government continues to train these women in sustainable livestock management.
There are many ways that women in Nicaragua can provide for their families. The coffee cooperative SOPPEXCCA has 520 member-families in Jinotega and Matagalpa. The average family has about five acres of land and four acres of coffee. Because of their low income, most of these women are vulnerable to three and a half months of food insecurity each year.
In Nicaragua, climate change and climatic events are among the biggest threats to food security. While drought has become a major concern in Nicaragua, it is also a major contributor to water and nutrition security. In the dry north Atlantic coast, the majority of households are affected by drought and other unforeseen natural disasters. FSIN estimates that over 13/1000 people in Nicaragua suffer from food insecurity.