The strong breeze that is characteristic of the community of San Miguelito brings a glimpse of relief from the scorching Nicaragua heat. It also stirs up dirt and creates a menacing dust storm, showering a layer of dust on chairs, tables, and people in Teofilo Betanco Palma’s humble home. His wife hurries off to fill a bucket of water to use to wet the dirt and decrease the dust. Knowing that their family walks for 3 hours each day to retrieve that water makes her use it very sparingly.
Teofilo is very involved and respected in his community. He serves in a leadership role on the Community Water and Sanitation Committee, and he manages an organized and successful agriculture business. His family raises cows, horses, chickens, pigs, ducks, and turkeys. He also encourages economic development for his fellow community members by renting storage bins for crops. Community farmers harvest their crops in season when their value is lower, and then they store the crops in Teofilo’s bins until their supply decreases and value increases. Farmers can then sell their crops at a higher price because of their increased value.