Eduardo José Picado Juárez, 55, and his brother Sergio José Picado, 52, would be the firsts to scoff at the familiar adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” These two ambitious brothers from the community of La Picota are business partners and the newest beneficiaries of the 1 Manzana Pig Project.
Since entering the program in October 2021, Eduardo and Sergio have been like sponges, eagerly absorbing and courageously applying new and innovative strategies. They have received technical assistance, financial investment, and business training, but for these brothers, this is just the beginning. They are eager to continue dreaming and taking their successes one step further.
Sergio and Eduardo grew up and live in the community of La Picota, and they have a great love for their home. Currently, Sergio lives with his wife of 30 years, Ana Patricia, and their children, Josseling and Angelo. Eduardo lives just down the road with their mother.
While they are excited for their futures in the pig project, life has not always been so hopeful. Both brothers have struggled financially for as long as they can remember, fighting to earn enough money to survive day to day. Before joining the 1 Manzana Pig Project, Sergio was desperate, traveling to Managua in search of economic opportunity to no avail. Eduardo says that he has tried a little of everything, from working as a mechanic to toiling long hours as a cowboy.
The brothers have always dreamed of operating a successful farm. Before partnering with Amigos, they tried many different methods, crops, and investments on their small farm, but they always earned just enough to survive. Sergio and Eduardo even attempted to raise pigs in the past, but the farm was disorganized and lacking in technical assistance. They explain that in the past, their mindset for raising pigs was simply to provide food for their own families. They never dreamed of raising pigs for economic gain.
A Mentality Shift
Eduardo and Sergio share with excitement how their lives have been transforming since joining the 1 Manzana Pig Project. With the installation of a new, state-of-the-art nursery, the brothers have just received 25 piglets to raise and sell over the next 5 months for meat or for breeding. Amigos already has a network of buyers, and the partnership has created new opportunities for the brothers to sell their pigs throughout Chinandega. Their farm now has a structured process, complete with goals, assistance, and counseling from Amigos Community Advocates.
Before joining the pig project, Eduardo shares that their mentality was work and produce just to survive, but now their mentality has changed. Now, the brothers are excited to produce to provide for their families and thrive in their community. They share that, for the first time, they have hope for the future.
Eduardo smiles and says, “The project has given our family an opportunity to come together and work in a family business towards a common goal – bettering the futures of our children and future generations.”
A Step Toward the Future
In addition to participation in the 1 Manzana Project, Eduardo and Sergio are leading the way as La Picota is entering into another Amigos project, Plan 7. Eduardo is especially motivated, serving on the leadership committee, CAPS, and taking his role and responsibility very seriously. Eduardo states, “I want to be an example of a productive and ambitious mentality for the community.”
One Step Further
Eduardo dreams for La Picota reach further than even economic development and water. He is excited about the social impact that the Amigos projects will have on La Picota as a whole.
Eduardo reflects sadly on the fact that many community kids become involved in the wrong things, such as drugs or alcohol. He attributes this trend to a lack of hope or aspiration for the future. Eduardo dreams that the Amigos mission and projects will infiltrate the lives of the youth, transforming their perspectives and futures. He dreams big of creating a youth sports complex in the community. He would love to see the community youth pour their energy into sports, learning the values of teamwork, perseverance, and hard work.
Sergio and Eduardo are inspiring examples of striving for excellence, living life with a love of learning, and taking one step further – always.