Guest Author: Paola Montalvo
Jose Diaz, 53, is no stranger to the mighty stench of the pig pen in his backyard. Growing up in the community of Miguel Cristiano, Jose loved helping his father, a farmer, take care of their family’s chanchos, or pigs. As an adult and a young parent, however, Jose struggled to secure the capital necessary to manage his own farm. “When I was raising my children, I had to go find work in the city. I never saw my family, and I missed living off the land.”
Now, Jose has the opportunity to return to his roots. As a beneficiary of Amigos for Christ’s Microcredit Loan program, Jose is the proud owner of his own chanchera, or pig pen, and chanchos. Instead of traveling into the city for unsatisfying work, he is able to provide for his family and do what he loves, breed and sell pigs.
During his first months as a microcredit loan beneficiary, Jose faced challenges, but he and his family demonstrated inspiring perseverance through it all. For instance, one of his pigs gave birth to twelve, still-born piglets, devastating production and completely changing his financial projections for the year. Despite the setback, Jose remained faithful and continued to invest his time and energy into his pig business. Now, his business is thriving. He is humbly the first to say that he is not working alone.
“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NAB)