on 9th July 2018

Adaptation to Climate Change in Ecuador: María’s Story

María Dolores, 57 years old, lives in Ecuador, in a region deeply affected by climate change. With CARE’s support, she is learning agroecological methods to improve her production while protecting the environment.

In Ecuador, climate change has negative impacts on the ecosystems & people. Additionally, the increase in agricultural activities widely contributes to the acceleration of soil degradation. CARE is supporting families to adapt to and protect the environment. We support local farmers in their learning of agro-ecological techniques and knowledge. The Training Programmes are based on the transmission of local knowledge from one farmer to another. The farmer who has been trained then shares what he/she has learned with family and friends.

Discover María’s everyday life – A farmer who has completed CARE’s Training Programme

María Dolores lives in the community of San Luis de Ichisi. She is in charge of domestic and agricultural work: taking care of cows and rearing her trouts.

Her working day begins at 4:30 am. She starts with breakfast preparation, then she milks her cows, feeds her pigs and guinea pigs, and because time goes by quickly, it is already time to prepare lunch. When the night comes, if she doesn’t take part in meetings, she goes to sleep at 9:00 pm. She earns her living from milk production and pig farming which enables her to dedicate time to agriculture and cultivating corn, potatoes and barley.

In addition to these activities, María owns a water-powered mill. It is said that it is more than 300 years old and that it is the first water-powered mill used to grind seeds. The mill has been declared tangible patrimony by Pedro Moncayo city hall and has become a touristic attraction.

María’s needs to commercialize her products led her to become a member of the Buen Vivir agroecological farmers association. Thanks to the invitation by Pedro Moncayo city hall, she is now involved in this association and participates in existing fairs including the Buen Vivir fair every Friday in Tabacundo, a fair on Tuesday every other week at the University of the Andes, and a fair in Mena area in south Quito during the weekends. Today, fairs value women participation. María’s experience has been very positive as the fairs allow her to escape the household routine, sharing experiences with other participants.

Thanks to the technical support of the municipality of Pedro Moncayo and CARE, María states, “I want to keep breeding trouts, it is less compelling than agriculture and there is demand, people buy every time they go to fair, and they even travel to my house to provision.”

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