Each season, Zulema Lopez sows and reaps crops in the village of San Luis, near Somoto in northern Nicaragua. But after years of prolonged drought, wells have run dry and many harvests have failed.

“Everything has dried up—the fields, the wells, the rivers. It’s all dry now,” Lopez said. “Lots of women have to walk farther to collect water. It’s a daily problem to get enough water to wash and cook and drink.”

However, a new well, equipped with a solar-powered pump and a drip-irrigation system funded by South Canyon Lutheran Church, Rapid City, S.D., now brings water to the fields and for drinking, washing and cooking. Planned and developed by the community, the project is aided by staff of the Nicaraguan Lutheran Church of Faith and Hope—with support from ELCA World Hunger —who conduct sustainable farming training.

With predictions that rainfall will continue to be scarce, people in this dry-corridor region are encouraged by the solutions the new equipment and techniques offer. “We’ve got hope with this project,” Lopez said. “It’s not every man for himself here—we’re doing it together. We’re doing corn and beans, and vegetables too. And we’ll all get a share.”

Stephen Deal
Stephen Deal is regional representative for ELCA Global Mission in Central America.

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