HONDURAS: Farming for the future Erik (11) from Honduras helps his family farm the land in their village using eco-friendly techniques. They produce crops of organic coffee and aloe vera, supported by a CAFOD partner called COMAL. Find out more about Eric and his family…
Around Erik’s home it’s beautiful and mountainous with huge waterfalls nearby. The soil is perfect for planting coffee and aloe vera. Here the aloe vera is growing underneath the trees. The gel from the plants is used to make soap and shampoo.
Erik at home. His house is better now there’s more money coming in. Before, they had a mud floor - now it’s cement. Smoke from cooking used to harm their lungs, but now they have a proper oven and the smoke goes outside.
Erik’s mum and older sister, Dinora, are making a traditional Honduran meal of ‘mantuas’ which is maize dough with chicken and chilli boiled in water. They are getting ready for the annual ‘Day of the Child’ festival – a really fun time in Honduras!
Marcelina, Erik’s mum, is making tortillas by mixing maize flour with water, rolling the dough into balls, flattening them into little ‘pancakes’ and cooking them on a griddle. She makes them fresh every day. Tortillas are a staple food in Honduras, a bit like bread is here, and they are often served with every meal.
Erik is responsible for feeding the animals on the farm, including the fish in the new fish tank. There are 50 fish in the tank and the family now have fresh fish to eat. The water in the tank is also used to irrigate the crops.
Erik feeds his pet cow which was a present from his grandmother. She’ll have a calf soon, so Erik has to check on her often. “When the time comes, I’ll take her somewhere quiet so she can have it in peace,” says Erik.
Erik and his Dad, Andres, are checking the organic coffee plants on their land. Income from selling the coffee means the family are able to buy things such as building materials for a new chicken coop, which makes their lives easier.
Hilaria is one of the members of the co-operative that Erik’s mum helps to run – supported by CAFOD. Here she is holding an aloe vera plant and a bottle of the shampoo that is made from the gel of the plant. It’s a good enterprise for Erik’s family and neighbours, as it’s organic and doesn’t harm the forest. It also brings in useful income for local farmers.
Erik, his mum and Dinora are packing sweets into bags to go inside a ‘piñata’ for the annual ‘Day of the Child’ festival. The piñata is hollow and often shaped like an animal or cartoon character - made with wire, paper and glue. The piñata gets hung up, and children bash it with sticks until the sweets come out!
It’s the ‘Day of the Child’ festival, and the kids get to play piñata. They take it in turns to be blindfolded and try to break the piñata open with a stick. Their friends hold the piñata on a rope and move it around so it’s hard to hit. When the piñata is broken, there is a mad scramble for all the sweets that fall out!