Juana stares up at the cloudless sky, searching for signs of rain. As usual, there are none to be found. The sun continues to shine, and her remaining crops continue to wither.
It is increasingly difficult to differentiate between her garden and the encroaching wasteland. The entire backyard is rough, untilled, and dotted with boulders and clumps of thistle. Only a few chili pepper plants remain.
“Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn’t,” Juana says. “When it doesn’t rain, it is very difficult.”
Out here, in the Dry Corridor of Honduras, it is not uncommon to experience six months or more of drought. Because so much of the work is agricultural, drought kills both crops and job opportunities. All that remains is to stare up at the sky and hope.
Though opportunities are slim, Juana and her husband try to earn money however they can. She stays home with her one-year-old daughter, Jasmine, and attempts to coax life from the hardscrabble earth. Her husband searches daily for odd jobs—ranch work, manual labor, farming when possible—but comes up empty more often than not.
“There’s not much work here. If there is a crop, we will try to harvest it,” she said. “My husband gets paid for some work but there is no regular source of income.”
What sustains Juana is the faith that ADRA will come to her home. In her little community of Las Casitas, several desolate homesteads have already come to life, thanks to ADRA interventions designed for climates such as this.
“I have seen what ADRA is doing and I would love to be a beneficiary,” she says. “It would be great to have ADRA’s help. I would be able to grow tomatoes and green peppers and green beans.”
In this region of Honduras, tomatoes are the ultimate cash crop. Because of them, one beneficiary claims to have earned in one month what she typically earns in one year.
“I’d love to see developments here, too,” she says. “I want to get back to work and use the water tank and grow the crops. With the income from tomatoes, I will be able to buy what I’m missing in the household.”
Mostly, Juana wants to raise her daughter to be happy, healthy, and well-educated.
“When I was a girl I wanted to have a better life,” she adds. “This project will really help make those dreams a reality for my daughter.”