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This chlorinator has an infectious smile

Franseca & Petronilo's Path to prosperity


There's that smile. Meet Franseca, a feisty and determined mother in San José who needs your support. 

"They know we'll teach them"

This week I talked to my coworker about why families come to Agros.

She said, "Families don't show up to Agros asking us to give them anything. They show up for an opportunity to work ... because they know we'll teach them. They want to be self-sufficient."

I loved the way she put it because our families do not want hand-outs.

They want teachers.

They want to be invested in.

They want commitment that parallels their own


THey commit. We must commit, too.

When you're one of ten children living off a few dollars a day in rural Nicaragua, your parents can't invest in you.

When your school is an hour away and your family needs you to work, no teacher will ever get a chance to invest in you.

But when a family joins Agros, we promise to invest in them and to do it for the long haul.

Now, if a family makes it past the grueling first few years of partnering with us - relocation, home-building, first crop cycles, and learning brand new ways of doing almost everything - they've already invested thousands of hours and committed everything they own into the gamble that we'll follow through on our end of the deal.

We have to follow through. And we need your help to do it.


the path to prosperity campaign: help support the $6,000 cost of one family

Now, I know our longterm commitment model can make our fundraising requests to you repetitive.

Invest in the same families, year after year, in the same holistic program of agriculture, education, financial empowerment, land access, and health & well-being.

We don't come up with something shiny and new every year because we know this works. This is our promise to families.

But ... this spring, we're doing things a little differently.

We're highlighting four families who need your support and inviting you to invest directly in the $6,000 annual cost to teach, empower, and support them on their Path to Prosperity before June 30th.

Their names are Alonso from Bella Vista, Justo & Alicia from Luz del Mañana, German & Ester from Piedra de Horeb, and a couple from San José that I'd like to introduce you to ...


franseca & petronilo's path to prosperity

Meet Franseca & Petronilo, one of the founding families of San José, a village in northern Nicaragua.

Franseca sang while Petronilo played us a tune in their home in San José. The walls are covered with their children's drawings from school.

Petronilo was the organizing force behind the group of families who came to Agros after seeing the nearby vilage of El Eden and said: We want that: the chance to own land, work for ourselves, and provide for our children.

They persevered for years to found their own village, which they named San José, in 2007.

"I'm going to tell you the truth," says Petronilo. "[Where we were before], I couldn't think about the future."

Petronilo immediately became a community leader, heading-up the community board and doing advocacy to try to bring water taps to every family's home (currently, families must carry water from three shared taps).

He received training in field schools with one-on-one follow-up to learn to effectively cultivate high-value crops like coffee, passion fruit, and vegetables - crops that would have been far beyond his skill level before. 

“[Where I worked before],” recalls Petronilo. “I just used the machete to cut grass and do a few other odd jobs. Here, I have learned everything,” he says. “[Even] how to grow vegetables,” he adds, with a broad smile. 


Franseca dries the portion of the couple's coffee harvest that they save for their own consumption.

Franseca holds her own in this power couple, using her infectious laugh and strong will to support a campaign among mothers to chlorinate their water. The chlorination kills the parasites and bacteria that used to regularly plague her children with diarrhea and vomiting.

“I have seen the difference with other families [who don't chlorinate]," says Franseca. "Their children are sick much more.”

will you invest in petronilo & franseca's final push for prosperity?

We aren't the only nonprofit operating in the Matagalpa region, where Petronilo & Franseca are from.

But they chose us because we teach, we invest, we commit.

Imagine how transformational it must feel to have someone spend time teaching you to farm properly, or run a chlorination campaign, or lead the water committee on the community board for the first time.

Thanks to your support thus far, Petronilo & Franseca have made incredible progress - but without a few more years of commitment from us, a crop pest or sudden medical emergency could still derail their dreams.

Your friends and fellow Agros-lovers have already raised $1,000 for Petronilo & Franseca. Please give what you can to help fulfill our commitment to support the last leg of their brave journey.

give to petronilo and franseca's campaign


Franseca and her daughter. Invest in their futures with your gift today.



  Anna Lehn

    Marketing and Communications Manager


This entry was posted on Friday, June 17, 2016 at 2:00 PM
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