Jacinto & Catarina: Thriving Together

Written by
Joseph and Pedro
Published on
May 31, 2024 at 8:36:40 AM PDT May 31, 2024 at 8:36:40 AM PDTst, May 31, 2024 at 8:36:40 AM PDT

Hardship strikes Rio Azul

Jacinto and Catarina are passionate about transforming their community and work together in a true partnership toward that end. 

When the pandemic struck Guatemala, their family was affected by the government-mandated lockdown and a growing food shortage. Hunger started knocking on their door. “I was concerned and anxious,” Jacinto remembers. 

He proactively purchased carpentry tools to earn income by working from home, but accessing food was still an issue.

In 2021, he joined FH Guatemala’s family garden. He learned marketing strategies, the importance of shade for crops, crop rotation and density, and more to increase his production and income. He also planted vegetables among his avocado orchard, maximizing his growing space.

Working together to overcome

Catarina often joins him in the garden. “My wife and I help each other,” he explains. “Sometimes, we bring our children to the garden too. The oldest helps us with cleaning and other tasks in the field. It is a team effort that we make together to improve our environment and learn together.”

They also problem-solve together. When the local market became flooded with the same vegetables one season, demand for their produce declined. Jacinto shared his concerns with Catarina and she found a buyer for their vegetables in the larger Nebaj market. Jacinto was relieved and worked hard to collect the order and make the delivery. 

Not only does Catarina support Jacinto’s initiatives, but he also supports her involvement in community groups. “When she asks my permission to attend meetings, I always support and encourage her to participate, recognizing that this contributes to her personal wellbeing,” Jacinto shares. 

His attitude toward his wife and marriage is really quite countercultural.

“For me, it is essential to support her since she has every right to be an active part of these activities.” — Jacinto

You can help support couples like Jacinto and Catarina as they work to not only provide for their families, but also to shatter gender stereotypes and work together for the flourishing of the community.