Manuel Antonio's story

Manuel is 60 years old and a native of the community called El Consuelo (The Consolation), located in Pueblo Nuevo (New Town) in the municipality of Esteli. He is married and the father of a family with 8 children, of whom 3 are still in his charge. Manuel is a farmer with 40 years in this activity. Now he plants coffee and raises cattle.

At the age of 15 he began helping his father. Manuel studied only to the 4th grade of primary school because his parents were very poor and he was one of 9 children. They couldn't pay for schooling for all the children, so he had to help his father to work and bring food to his home. At the age of 22, he decided to marry but it was difficult. He had to work twice as hard for 2 months to be able to afford a wedding dress for his wife. Then, his father sold him a small piece of land to work and he made it count, with the help of his wife. Later, he sold this piece of land to buy a larger plot and plant coffee, and also, raise cattle. Thus Manuel and his family have survived until the present. He hopes to sell his coffee directly to buyers in the United States.

Manuel requests a loan to maintain his 4.375 acres of coffee, to pay laborers, and to buy manure. This will help him to keep his harvest in good condition, and obtain a better production of coffee. He intends to buy more land in the future for planting coffee, using a highly technical system that will produce organic coffee. Among his short-term goals is to sow 5.25 acres of beans and 3.5 acres of corn.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Harold Dana Sims, PhD

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