Farming is a difficult profession.
Severe and unpredictable weather storms or droughts can destroy crops in an instant. The markets often fluctuate and the prices of produce can drop and incomes go down. Joel and Dora live with these uncertainties daily. In the small farming community of Chimaltenango, Guatemala Joel and Dora work their farm side by side.
Before Joel and Dora started working with Mentors International, Joel was working temp jobs in the mornings. If he was hired to work, he would make about $5 a day. The work and paychecks were uncertain resulting in their three children only able to attend primary school. Joel was motivated to work harder because of the love and support of his family.
When Mentors International first starting mentoring and teaching in their small village they were very excited. Not only did they learn business principles, but they learned the skill of sowing. Joel and Dora started renting a few acres of land near their home. With their first micro-loan they invested in seeds and additional farm equipment.
Today Joel is awaiting the harvest of his two acres of broccoli and two acres of snow peas and beans. It is still a challenge working with the changing prices of food, but he is hopeful that all together his four acres will bring in a good profit this year.
The big difference between Joel’s past situation and his current one is that, thanks to Mentors International, he owns his own business, he manages his own hours, takes care of his crops, and generates work for two additional employees.
Joel said, “Thanks to the advice I have received from Mentors International, I have dreams, one of them is to one day cultivate 8 acres of land, and build my house with brick. I am very grateful to God for being able to have health, work, and the ability to provide what is necessary to live with dignity. I do not have a bank account yet because I am investing in the crops, but our Mentor recommends that we start saving. When we collect and sell this crop, we will save according to what we have learned.”
He continued, “Thanks to the donors and Mentors International, for the support they gave me to continue growing, and to reach what I have always dreamed of, to be financially well, and to stay there. Thanks to Mentors International, many of us here in Guatemala have the opportunity to move forward! Thank you very much, God bless you all!”