Tomorrow morning we meet with the 20 Nicaraguan families to go over the plan for the family vegetable gardens. So I thought I'd pitch it here first.
So why gardens?
To give yall an idea of the broader contextual situation...
Context: the Problem at Hand
Diabetes and obesity are growing problems in Nicaragua (and many developing & developed countries). According to a number of scholars, under-nutrition is on the decline in Latin America, while obesity and type-2 diabetes are increasing. Lack of access to healthy food and the "modernization" of the food supply (that is, more processed foods) have changed eating trends throughout Latin America. The consumption of fat, animal products, and sugar is increasing while the consumption of cereals, fruit, and vegetables is rapidly declining. In Central America, the transition to diets of processed foods & increased fats has happened so quickly that diabetes & obesity coexist in the same populations as malnutrition. Diabetes is becoming a big problem in the villages that Amigos works with. Nutritional education is one vital part of preventing this dramatic rise of chronic illness.
But even with education, unless the resources are available to make the necessary changes, this "education" can't help. For most of the families in Villa, fresh fruits and vegetables are too expensive or simply not avaiiable. and before running water was available in every family's home in Villa, the concept of watering a garden was completely absurd. Villa has made some exciting steps in recent years, with full clean water supply and a functioning health clinic, with much more of the community linked into the health center. Megan Fitzgerald, a missionary nurse who has lived in Chinandega for the past few years, has intimate ties with these individuals and has been in conversation with the people of Villa about this idea. This is an exciting moment in Villa, where we can start building the gardens and growing food.
with the wonderful resident nurse Megan Fitzgerald
1. Nutitional education: A few times a week we'll hold charlas, or chats, to engage people living in Villa about their health, their diet, the effects of obesity and risks of diabetes, and the importance of nutrition.
2. Gardening: Twenty families have signed up to build a garden on their family plot. We'll provide the training, the seeds, the supplies, and a couple extra sets of hands for planting and caring for the plants.
in working on this project, I am constantly amazed at the grace and kindness of Megan. I am grateful to be so fully included in the project. Tomorrow I meet the families. Couldn't be more excited.