During both the fall and spring trips we have team members working on women's programs, and many of these projects continue during our absence, lead by village women. Some of the projects are undertaken only in El Triunfo and others happen in Guajilote and Los Tiestos as well.
Women in three villages have been given sewing machines and are volunteering their time to teach other women to sew. A two year curriculum has been developed and a certificate given upon completion. We assist by providing each student with a sewing kit and by providing fabric for the classes.
Crochet and needlework groups have been formed in three villages. We started out teaching classes but now they are teaching each other. We are providing some supplies and sharing tips on creating a marketable product. Two women in El Triunfo are also being taught to use their leadership skills with a youth group in the community.
We are able to hold a session in each village when we are there on development trips. Women of all ages meet to enjoy each others company while learning valuable information on creating a balanced diet for their families using available foods. Our agricultural student has also worked in this area in our absence. New initiatives include having a prenatal nutrition program and sharing nutrition with moms in the toddler program.
In conjunction with the nutrition education is our kitchen garden projects. The women need to have affordable and plentiful vegetables and fruits to complement their corn based diet. We are also introducing alternative crops like pigeon pea and high protein corn to enrich their protein intake.
Our goal with our toddler program is to enhance the loving interaction between mother and child with ideas to provide positive early learning experiences that will aid in the social, mental and emotional development of their child. Our volunteers teach finger games, songs and rhymes and encourage early literacy to small groups of women.