Meet Maria Eugenia Flores Gomez, Chris Bacon and their daughter Rosalia. Maria Eugenia (Mari) is CAN‘s project manager for the Food Security and Food Sovereignty Project in Las Segovias, Nicaragua. Chris is a Professor at Santa Clara University and a CAN affiliated researcher. CAN‘s collaboration with the PRODECOOP R.L.cooperatives to end seasonal hunger among small family farmers began nearly 7 years ago, at the same time that Rosalia was born. Rosalia has grown up between the US and Nicaragua (her mother’s home country) participating in workshops, trainings and data collection, connecting with family, and making friends in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. Their commitment to working with farmers, as a family, coincided with a model of collaboration that included whole families to span gender and generation.
To learn more, listen to podcast, Delicious Revolution, produced by Devon Sampson and Chelsea Willis, where Maria Eugenia and Chris discuss the roots of the collaborative approach the work takes.
Most of the time people do the research and go away, but we were going deep. It was going to be a collective effort — a collective vision — and collaboration within our family was the start. We had to ask, is this going to be a collaboration or a development project? We had to construct a common vision of what’s possible and then make a partnership model of what’s possible and then set up a goal of ending seasonal hunger in a period of 10 years. – Chris Bacon
The power of collaboration:
- 2,448 families have improved access to food during the thin months.
- Thin months have been reduced from 3 months to 2 months since 2010.
- More than 800,000 lbs. of basic grain have been re-localized to increase food and seed availability and reduce foreign-seed dependency.
- More than 35 organizations and 1400 farmers making change happen
We have been living through this kind of seasonal hunger for generations. We don’t call it seasonal hunger. We call it Julio, that is July, and we asked them do you have recipes that you use during this period of seasonal hunger that you want to share with us? Almost 800 recipes we collected. It’s not a lack of knowledge. There is a lot of knowledge…we put together local knowledge, academic knowledge, local NGO, international NGO–its all of this when we start talking about collaboration. Okay, how do we put all those pieces together? -Maria Eugenia