Improving quality of life and generating new opportunities
Our development strategies always begin with schools and children. As we get to know the children and adults in the school system, we also begin to learn about pressing needs in their communities. We focus on vocational training and family business development in urban communities, while centering our efforts around trees, water and food in rural areas. We work closely with community leaders to identify actions that will mitigate the impact of climate change, promote food security, and offer viable economic opportunities.
When there are few employment opportunities, it’s easy to lose hope. Learning a trade gives a person purpose and a marketable skill that can help lift their entire family out of poverty. Whether it’s building furniture, sewing purses, or baking bread, our goal is to create economic opportunities for young people and adults in the communities we serve.
Family Business Development
Entrepreneurship has the potential to raise standards of living, create jobs, and transform a community, but starting a new business is no easy task. When community members complete vocational courses, many are interested in starting their own business. We mentor them throughout the process, providing the training and support that will allow their business to thrive.
The rural communities surrounding the city of Matagalpa have been severely deforested. This is mostly due to agriculture, livestock and the constant demand for firewood. We work with rural families to plan annual reforestation campaigns during the rainy season, from May through October.
Community Water Projects
Although access to water is something taken for granted in countries like the U.S., many rural communities in Matagalpa face severe water scarcity for months at a time. During the dry season, families have to spend many hours walking to springs or rivers to gather water. In some communities, water has to be purchased from government trucks. Rayo de Sol works to provide innovative solutions such as rain harvesting systems to ensure access to this vital resource.
Small-Scale Organic Farming
Most families in the rural communities that we serve are subsistence farmers. They grow small plots of beans and corn, primarily for consumption. Because of degraded soils, they have to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides for limited yields, but they are very expensive and damaging. We train local farmers how to grow nutritious vegetables, using the Biointensive Method of organic farming.