A severe drought has affected Nicaragua during 2014 on what is thought to be the worst in the last three decades. In response, rural communities have started managing their natural resources better and designed strategies to implement a change in rural Nicaragua.
During one of my visits to a borrower I found an inspiring story of a group of women having training sessions on food preparation and cooking tips. They mainly work with three native products that grow abundantly in central Nicaragua: Pejibaye, Yuca, Quequisque.
The training session I attended was focused on Pejibaye, teaching its multiple uses and giving information of its nutritious properties. Up until now it was used mainly to feed pigs and other animals, rarely it was used as an ingredient.
With these training sessions, the women learn how to cook Pejibaye in several forms and in a really cheap form. In the past they just boiled the fruit and ate it raw, nowadays they even bake it. They also learn cultivation methods in order to increase production and quality of the product.
On the day of my visit they had learned the following process:
1. Boil the Pejibaye
2. Peel and take out the seed inside
3. Grind the seed until it turns into dough
4. When the dough is ready, they decide what to cook:
• Mixed with milk, the turn it into a delicious drink.
These women will later go to their own communities and show other women what they have learned today. Hopefully these training sessions will help rural communities of the poorest country in central America develop new healthy eating habits in order to avoid future times of drought.