6-20-16  |  Success Story

A Visit to Jonathan’s Farm

BY: Antonella Saravia

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Jonathan and his mother

About 20 km outside of Somoto, there is a dirt road that leads to Jonathan’s house. The story of Jonathan and his pig farm reached our offices in Managua, and we are eager to learn more about this family and how they have worked together to create a new opportunity for themselves.

The dust around the car is still settling when Diana, Jonathan’s mother comes out to greet us. We sit with them as chickens and piglets race across from us chasing after the food Jonathan sprinkles for them. “He is always helping and tells me not to worry about the animals,” says Diana of her son, who is currently enrolled in Fabretto’s Rural Secondary Education Program (SAT). “My youngest daughter is in primary school, and in the afternoon, Jonathan’s SAT program is offered in the same classroom with about 14 other students.”

We’ve learned of many children who walk long distances to attend class. I ask Jonathan if this is true. “Oh yes,” he says, “They accompany each other, but it’s a very long way from their home, and they do it every day.”

Having access to secondary education permits Jonathan to exercise his eagerness for learning. Most children in the northern region of Nicaragua, also known as the ‘dry corridor,’ don’t receive an education past the 5th grade.

01DSC_0012Jonathan’s eyes light up as he tells us about the SAT program: “We learn about classifying animals, agriculture, and the gardens at school.” We soon begin to notice everything around us. Wooden structures frame the property, and it is only through Diana that we discover that Jonathan, about 11 years of age, has built them all himself.

It’s quite common in rural parts of Nicaragua for families to purchase piglets at the beginning of the year and eat them when they are big for the holidays in December. Diana and her family changed this tradition and decided to invest in a long-term project.

The family now has nine pigs which they expect to sell in the next few weeks. While her husband works the fields about 30 minutes away, Diana and Jonathan provide a second income for the family. Since grains and sorghum are expensive in the area, she confesses that she’s gotten creative about what she feeds the piglets when they are running low. Jonathan attends school every day and continues to contribute in any way that he can.

As we exit and thank them for their time, my colleague turns to Jonathan once more and congratulates him. “Remember! Your story has traveled all the way to Managua!” she says. He smiles and waves goodbye.

Together, they are thinking ahead. Jonathan’s classes, his structures, and his mother’s encouragement are all coming together. The family is working as a team and have changed their outlook on life. Jonathan is blossoming as a student, a boy, and an entrepreneur.

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