b'Rosa is not the only one who has had to discard her ambitions. Widespread poverty and difficult socioeconomic and security conditions have forced many in Olancho to abandon their dreams, some even leaving their families and communities altogether in search of reliable livelihood opportunities. Heifer is working with Rosa and other families in the area to fulfill their aspirations and achieve more, at home.An Uphill ClimbAround 4.8 million people live below the poverty line in Honduras, and agriculture is their main source of income. However, inadequate earnings, unfavorable weather and insufficient infrastructure have resulted in declining TOP LEFT livelihood opportunities and a surge in people With the help of animalleaving rural farming communities like managementCarricillos Arriba.training received through theWhen Rosa and Ramn Lainez, her husband, project, Rosamoved to the area after their marriage, they built improved thetheir farm brick by brick, cultivating corn, beans health of her cows whichand coffee, and rearing cattlebut the helped herproduction and income were rarely enough to increase the income andsustain the family. In Honduras, corn, coffee nutrition ofand beans are highly vulnerable to the effects ofIncome from abroad is a mainstay for many poor families in Honduras, her family.climate change, the regions erratic rains andand Carlos sends the family $200 every chance he has. Still, after watching a TOP RIGHT natural disasters causing low yields, decreasedgeneration grow and move away in search of workoften leaving behind Albeit a naturesquality and production losses. their families for goodRosa would rather see the next generation have paradise rich with flora and fauna,When Hurricane Mitch struck in 1998, itopportunities at home.the remotenesspoured down a years worth of rain and left I want the young people to have a better level [of education], she said, so and tough topographybehind a trail of flooded farms and brokenthat they come out as professionals. render thehouses and bridges. We could not move, community of Carricillos Arribashared Rosa, recalling how localLeveling the Fieldisolated andcommunication networks collapsed and theyHeifer has been working with smallholder farmers in Honduras to build vulnerable incould not access necessary food, healthprofitable farms for a decade. By strengthening existing livestock rearing times of natural calamities andsupplies and services for several weeks.practices and introducing complementary agricultural value chains, such as disasters.An absence of higher education institutionsbeekeeping, Heifer is helping farmers like Rosa diversify their income BOTTOM nearby also kept Rosas son, Carlos, fromstreams, improve production, enhance the quality of their produce and earn Mineral saltstudying beyond sixth grade. The closestsustainable living incomes for their familiesall within their communities. mix improvessecondary school was hours away and the soleProducers are grouped into Farmer Field Schoolseach group consisting the health of livestockdirt road that reached there would often getof 10 to 15 membersand provided training on livestock rearing techniques by providingwashed away due to rain, leaving it impassable.and feeding practices. This includes knowledge on how to manage pastures, essential nutrients, In search of a dependable livelihood, Carlosprevent overgrazing, prepare supplemental feed with the help of mineral salts, improvingleft home and Rosa stepped up to take theand access healthcare services for livestock from trained extension service digestionresponsibility of raising his children, Kellyn andproviders. Both Rosa and Kellyn, now 25, have received training from Heifer and building immunity. Marvin. to provide animal health services to local livestock producers.12| SUMMER 2023 HEIFER.ORG |13'