For our project staff that carry out home visits to our Primary Education and Maternal Child Health sponsees, heavy rains often mean reaching homes in rural communities can be more difficult. Meetings with school partners may be delayed, and our 10 Family Planning Champions may have to postpone community charlas. For the most part, however, we can work around these obstacles by being flexible and resourceful.
The rains bring necessary nourishment for crops to flourish, but they can also temporarily restrict economic opportunities for beneficiary families. Maternal Child Health Project Manager, Vilma Mendoza, explains that “When there is a lot of rain husbands cannot go to work in the mountains, and their families may have few other sources of income besides the beadwork that the wives can sell.”
Along with these obstacles, however, come positive changes. For our WASH In Schools project, communities that have previously struggled with limited water access see their water sources replenished after the heavy rains. Crops in the area thrive with the extra nourishment in the rainy season, providing food and work for our beneficiaries later in the harvest season.
The rejuvenating rains also change the kinds of plants that grow and flower near the apiaries. Project Manager Ana Cabrera explains how “In the rainy season, there are different flowers blooming, which gives the honey that the bees produce a different flavor and coloring than in other times of the year.”
In our school gardens, the rains usher in the most fertile and productive period of the year. Ana explains that with the rains, “everything turns greener. There is more life in the gardens.”
The rainy season also brings new work for teachers, students, and communities maintaining the organic school gardens. They no longer have to water the plants, but there is more weeding to be done. With the heavy rains, we support our community partners in preparing a water collection system to ensure the excess water does not damage the plant beds. Plants also must be routinely checked for insects or fungi, to ensure any infection does not spread to other plants. But the new work is worth it for the bountiful and nutritious harvest!