NEW VIDEO ‘Nicaraguan women: transforming lives, protecting the land’
The video tells the story of the long struggle of the women of the Gloria Quintanilla Co-operative whose organising has transformed the lives of the whole community through their commitment to food sovereignty, agroecology, gender equality and land rights.
Based in the rural community of Santa Julia south of Managua, the cooperative was set up in 2008 and now has twenty members.
Two members of the Cooperative, Lea Moncada and Eloisa Garcia, explain how the roots of the achievements of the Cooperative lie in the 43 year history of struggle of the *Rural Workers Association (ATC) and the Sandinista Revolution.
As Eloisa explains, owning their land has been fundamental: ‘Before we had no land, we were workers living in camps on large farms, exploited, treated badly, humiliated and easily sacked. Now thanks to the Sandinista Revolution (agrarian reform programme) we have our own land….’
As defenders of the rights of women and girls the Co-operative is building an understanding and legacy for the whole community that ‘men and women are born with equal rights and equal opportunities.’
Agroecology is fundamental to the community’s transformation: ‘We use agroecology because in this way we take care of our farms, our health and (the wellbeing) of future generations.’
Lea explains importance of diversification: ‘When we started we only grew one crop such as beans or coffee but now we have diversified: each of us grows between five and nine crops which means that throughout the year we have a crop that provides resources to support our families.’
These crops include bananas, beans, dragon fruit, tomatoes, lemons, and bamboo. Some women also grow coffee , a crop particularly vulnerable to the impact of the climate crisis.
The legacy they will pass on to the next generation is all important to the whole community: ‘We don’t want to tell young people look I have left you this plot of land that is completely destroyed. We want to give them something good that they will be grateful for so they can learn to love their land’. Lea Moncada
Their struggle is an example of hundreds of thousands of communities of peasants and indigenous peoples globally fighting to transform their communities to ones based on the values of respect for social, economic and environmental justice
This is happening in the context of globalised, unsustainable system of food production controlled by transnational corporations which is fuelling a climate and biodiversity crisis, and contributing to the further concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few.
The women of the Gloria Cooperative and millions who share their vision provide a powerful testimony to the fact that another way is possible.
*The ATC is a founder member of the global movement of peasants and indigenous peoples La Via Campesina mobilising and putting into practice a food production system based on healthy, locally produced food and social transformation that respects people and the planet.