Nicoya Strengthens Food Security of Vulnerable Populations with Community Gardens

In order to provide food security to vulnerable populations in the canton at a time when the economic crisis continues to hit many families hard, the Municipality of Nicoya is currently working on the establishment of three community gardens. The spaces are in the communities of Barrio San Martín, where there will be two, and one more in Barrio Mata Buey.

“These projects are being worked on as a pilot plan in which we want the communities to be fully involved, that they can feel these spaces as their own and that they enjoy the benefits of the garden;

That they take advantage from the fruit of their effort as a family, not only at a nutritional level, but also economically, because they will generate savings by harvesting a variety of products for daily consumption and even the sale of products could represent income for them,” said Laura Rivera Álvarez, Deputy Mayor of Nicoya, and who is the promoter of the project.

One of the gardens is located on a lot that used to be an open-air dump, so machinery was brought in to clear the land. “With the first garden, the idea is to create a kind of women’s association, where the majority are heads of household, so that they not only produce for self-sufficiency, but also have enough for selling to neighbors and businesses” Rivera explained.

Mothers take the initiative 

“On the other hand, with the gardens that are being worked on by community organizations, the idea is that the children benefiting from them also bring fresh produce home. Both are in very vulnerable areas, in some cases the fathers are absent, so the mothers are the heads of the household, so the vision is that the mothers have this experience and see that it can be done, that it is something nice and prepare them so that the next year, in an adjoining lot of land, they can work the garden with the idea not only of consuming what is produced, but also of marketing it, they are very motivated for this,”explained the Deputy Mayor.

“Productive Boxes”, start your garden at home

It is worth mentioning that, as part of the project, this past week, there was an experiential training called “Productive boxes, start your garden at home”, directed by Laura Vindas, who is a student of the Nutrition career at the University of Costa Rica. 35 women participated in the training. Each one prepared their own “box” which they took home to take care of, and they will provide a virtual follow-up report.

“We are grateful to the municipality of Nicoya for the opportunity, having spent around 2 months planning strategies that were unified with Doña Laura’s ideas in order to achieve greater emphasis, where the objective of this first stage is to learn to improve the diversity of the diet and positively impact food security and nutrition in a healthy way,” said Vindas.

“There is excitement to continue in a second stage that, if possible, will begin this year; otherwise, with great eagerness and knowledge we will await the arrival of 2021, this under the Composter project that is carried out from the Environment axis which she is in my charge,” concluded the Deputy Mayor.

In this way, in Nicoya they try to guarantee food security in a solidarity and equitable way for their population, while contributing to the economic reactivation of the canton.