SewHope has worked in the distant village of Mango a few times over the years. Orfe did a garden project with the women in Mango about three years ago when she was completing a project for her higher level studies. In addition, SewHope has conducted at least one clinic on sight in Mango.
Today was my very first opportunity to visit Mango. Orfe and I traveled 50 minutes to drive the eleven miles from Santa Ana on very bumpy roads. The people of this village are very, very poor. Most houses have thatch roofes, dirt floors and extremely muddy yards. There are no paved roads. Many children are barefoot. Health conditions in general are poor.
At the end of May, Orfe once again started working with the women of Mango on gardens. Over the summer months, Jessi and Franklin, sons of Orfe, also assisted in the garden project and the family worked there about three days per week. Today Orfe returned to visit some of the 52 gardens! THANK YOU Orfe, Jessi and Franklin!!!
The gardens are so neat! Each one is fenced in so that the animals will not eat the food.
The women are very proud of the gardens which are thriving! Many have already harvested and eaten some of their home grown food. I saw lots of radishes, beans, cilantro, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and some tomatoes. This is a wonderful way to feed a family and to better the health of the children. Orfe's hope is that in time, water filters, and safe stoves will also be used in this village.
The following pictures show the examples of gardens and families that are benefiting from them. The pictures also show the poverty of the people such as animals living inside the home and washing and bathing being done in a very dirty pond.
To my surprise, at the very first family that we visited, there was a 15 year old girl who spoke English! She is in Mango for the summer visiting with her grandmother. Marlyn lives with her mother on the island of Caye Caulker which is part of Belize, an English speaking country. I visited this island last year.
In the process of visiting, Orfe also made appointments with the women for the clinic this week in Santa Ana. It was also a chance to visit with the family of a 19 year old boy who just died of cancer of the blood.
Orfe and I made very good use of the drive time. I helped Orfe with her English and she helped me with my Spanish. We laughed a lot! It was an AWESOME morning!
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012