A loan of $400 helped to fertilize 0.85 square kilometres of land for his corn crops and prepare the rest of the land for planting in the second season, which starts on August 15.

Herminio's story

Herminio is 64 years old and married. He has five children and has lived in this community for about four years. He built his house on asphalt. It is the property of the government and they enjoy right of possession. Like many others, Don Herminio grew up in the country and learnt how to do many activities pertaining to agriculture and caring for livestock by working as a day labourer and from his own experience in growing subsistence crops. He later married and he and his family got ahead by working together. It was due to social security problems and health problems that he migrated from his birthplace. He later adapted to the ways of life of his new community. Breaking stones and traditional small-scale fishing in Laguna El Jocotal are the activities the majority of families do for a living. Now he makes a living by producing staple grains, especially corn, which he is going to grow in a plot of land he has leased on the outskirts of the community for the rainy season since there is no farming land where he lives as they practically live on a layer of solidified lava.

He buys the supplies for his crops from a supplier in the area since it is better to buy them in his own community because of his age and because of the additional costs incurred if he were to buy them elsewhere. He then carries them on his back with the help of his wife and one of his children for approximately 1.5 kilometres.

The loan will be used to fertilize 0.85 square kilometres of land ready to plant corn and he will also prepare the rest of the land for planting in the second season beginning on August 15. By doing this, he will not have to buy corn at expensive prices for his family to eat, which is good as he sometimes does not have enough money to buy what he needs due to the sporadic nature of his work as a day labourer.

In the future he wants to work with his own capital and repurchase some calved cows he had before. He had to sell them when he had kidney problems. Now he is healthy but he lacks the resources to guarantee an income for his family and paid studies for his children.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Eloise Minogue

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