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Hand in hand with you, Doña Rosa and her son Juan have started down a path from relief to self-reliance. Juan is the sixth child of his widowed mother Doña Rosa. Doña Rosa is one of the 576 beneficiaries receiving assistance from Esperança’s Sustainable Food Security Program because of your friendship. Doña Rosa has been the sole provider for her 11 children for most of their lives, she cares for two of her grandchildren and one daughter who is incapacitated. Together they live in the community of Tolomosita Oeste, near Tarija, in Southern Bolivia. In this region, where elevation is just above 6,000 feet, the land is capable of producing many different vegetables, but many farmers don't know how. This is where you come in, keep reading... Juan is one of the many men and women every year who leave everything behind in search of better paying work in Argentina. Before leaving home, “We grew vegetables for our own consumption. We tried selling the little we had left over, but people would not buy them because they looked for vegetables that were newer varieties and of better quality,” Juan shared. Juan said goodbye to his family, his home, and left with his wife and two young daughters to find work in Argentina's growing agricultural industry, a distance of over seven hours away from his home. Ask yourself: "What can you do with so little?" And the only answer is: “Try and make miracles!” Although Juan's farming skills aided his difficult transition, they could not spare him and so many vulnerable people from the nostalgia and pain that comes with emigrating to find work. Every year, Juan returns home with his family to visit his mother and siblings and help with the harvest. Juan shared with me that this year was very different... He is thinking of returning to live permanently with his family. This year's harvest reaped crops and vegetables like they never have before! Juan explained, “Now I see what Esperança is providing my mother: high quality seeds and technical assistance during the planting, growing and harvesting seasons. With this help, she is producing much more and better quality vegetables just like in Argentina. Now I am thinking of moving back to my country. This project gives the average farmer a much better quality of life. It is very sad to have to live and work in another country. I always felt far away and miss my land and my family." And to learn that her son is thinking of moving back home, Doña Rosa couldn't be happier! Doña Rosa's family is growing high yields of lettuce, onion, potatoes, broccoli and celery, to name a few!  Esperança’s Food Security Program also educates family farmers at even higher elevations to grow the ancient grain of quinoa, which is high in protein and vital nutrients—something exceptional where fewer crops can be grown.  This bright story is what Esperanza Bolivia's staff see every day: The Fruits of their Labor realized in families like Doña Rosa’s. This program has not only cultivated nutritious, healthy crops, but a budding community pillared by the four team members who run Esperanza Bolivia’s Sustainable Food Security Program. By providing technical knowledge of farming practices, high-quality seeds and agricultural supplies, they see how families are not only increasing their income from selDSCN1581ling the abundance of crops that they are growing, but also seeing each member of the family become more vitalized and empowered. Your generosity has fed the bodies, minds and spirits of men, women and children who depend on agriculture to support themselves. You have provided a safe, nurturing community, quality agricultural tools and training, and perhaps the most surprisingly important piece: high-quality/resilient seeds. The need for Sustainable Food Security is especially acute for the overwhelming majority of those who live in rural areas, I need your help to widen our horizons and reach the most remote corners of our world. CLICK HERE to make a donation that will help keep all families together by bringing diverse crops to every family in Southern Bolivia.
Spaces of Opportunity Garden 067


Health officials across the country face a challenging question— how do you help the sickest and neediest patients get healthier? Esperança’s work in the Phoenix Latino community models a promising approach to address this issue.    Esperança’s work in Phoenix provides Promotores (Community Health Workers) opportunities to exchange information, share best practices and build skills. Salud con Sabor Latino (Health with a Latin Flavor) works to connect a network of Promotores and expand leadership opportunities for community members. This increases our capacity to make a difference in local communities! The use of Promotores has long been known as an effective way to bring information to community members who lack knowledge of healthy practices through the help of other, trusted community leaders.  By providing education for parents and children, Esperança is creating awareness about fitness and healthy eating habits for the whole family. Salud con Sabor Latino utilizes innovative and effective teaching methods with hands on learning, physical activity and community gardening. Spaces of Opportunity Garden 029 Esperança is empowering Promotores to inform and unite their neighbors. This provides an opportunity for community leaders to have their voices heard and to participate in shaping the topics taught in Salud con Sabor Latino sessions. It includes the issues that are meaningful to them. By being from the community, speaking their language, and having shared life experiences, Promotores are able to break down barriers that health care providers alone simply cannot. Juanita is a Promotora with Padres Promotores of Southwest Behavioral Health and Unlimited Potential. She graduated from Salud con Sabor Latino and is co-teaching the Salud con Sabor Latino 2016 summer session. Unlimited Potential purchased a plot of land at Spaces of Opportunity, a community garden established by TigerMountain Foundation in South Phoenix. Community Gardening gives families access to more fruits and vegetables to build a balanced diet, it adds more color to their neighborhoods  and their plates, it saves them money at the grocery store, it increases their physical activity AND it gives families something to do together. Spaces of Opportunity Garden 083   At Spaces of Opportunity, various agencies and community groups are growing fresh produce for a variety of purposes, including family and neighborhood consumption, day care centers, senior centers, and sales to local food banks, community health centers, local restaurants and markets. Promotores invited all of the participants of the Salud con Sabor Latino and Salud con Sabor Latino para los Niños (Health with a Latin Flavor for Children) summer sessions to bring their families to the community work day at Spaces of Opportunity on June 11th. We arrived at 9 AM, it was already HOT and everyone was ready to get their hands dirty! Groups from all over Phoenix came together for the community work day. Together we pulled weeds, planted seeds and harvested several vegetables that represent the phytonutrient spectrum, including squash, carrots, beets and bell peppers that the families took home with them. There is a lot of talk about making sure all of the foods we eat represent the colors in a rainbow.  What does this mean?  Why should I do that?  According to Julie Kurtz, Registered Dietitian, the majority of Americans eat a “brown, yellow, and white diet”.  Instead of a lackluster, colorless plate, try to sample all of the colors of the palette including red, orange, yellow, green, and purple.  This is important as you need to ensure that you are receiving all of the phytochemicals your body needs.  Phytochemicals are all of the good nutrients that naturally occur in plants.   FoodRainbow   “We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nonetheless help us to be much more than what we are…”  Adelle Davis       As we think about the colors of the rainbow, we should be inspired by better food selections! Looking at the vegetables that were harvested this month made me think about one of my favorite recipes…Smoky Farro and Chickpea Soup! The Earthy chard, nutty farro, and creamy chickpeas are a trifecta of deliciousness.    

Smoky Farro and Chickpea Soup

The hearty one pot meal couldn’t be easier and makes for a simple cleanup.

You can look for pouches of precooked farro either in the grain aisle or in the frozen section of your supermarket.

Hands-on: 15 min. Total: 25 min.

2 tbsp olive oil 2 cups finely chopped onion ½ cup finely chopped celery ½ cup chopped fresh parsley 1tsp chopped fresh rosemary 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 bay leaf 3 cups vegetable broth 3 cups water 1-1/2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper ¼ tsp kosher salt 1 (15 ounce) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed, drained 1 (14.5 ounce) can unsalted, fire roasted diced tomatoes 4 cups chard 3 cups cooked farro ½ cup chopped green onions 1.5 ounces parmesan cheese   1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and next five ingredients (through bay leaf). Cook seven minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and next six ingredients (through tomatoes); bring to boil. Stir in Chard and farro; cook two minutes or until chard wilts. Stir in green onions; top with cheese.