Initiated in 2006, Vamos Adelante's Pig Project provides a rare small business opportunity to the poorest families living in the region served. Since its start, we have seen great success giving piglets to families to raise for six to eight months and then sell at market. In this time, if the piglets eat their corn and tortillas as they should, they will more than double in price, selling for the equivalent of an average fifteen-day salary on one of the local fincas. When the families sell the pigs to the local butcher, they must use this money to buy two more piglets. Families who participate in this project must then always care for at least two pigs. This enables them to have a consistent income and thus buy food, clothes and shoes for their children when they sell their grown pigs at the market.
Families to receive a piglet are chosen from the poorest area that Vamos Adelante serves. All of the women who are chosen to receive a piglet are young, extremely poor and the mother of at least one child who has been very ill or malnourished and therefore has a sponsor. Each of these households complies with the Vamos Adelante regulations by keeping their drinking water boiled and their house cleaned, vaccinating their children, bathing regularly and attending monthly instructional talks given by the health promoter in their village. They also must have sufficient space at their home to keep a pig.
The piglets are also from this remote region, purchased from a local family. These families are always thrilled to sell their piglets as it is very difficult to sell piglets in their village as the people are extremely poor and cannot afford to buy piglets. Each piglet is given general vaccinations and rabies shots. They also receive a powder dietary supplement that protects them against parasites.
Elva is one woman who has received a piglet through the Vamos Adelnate Pig Project. She has three small children, one of which was hospitalized for severe malnutrition last year. Her husband is a seasonal worker, cutting coffee and collecting the milk from the
rubber trees on the local fincas to be used in the plastic factories. Currently, though, the family has no income at all because it is the rainy season and not a time for any harvest nor work, so this pig will play a significant role in supporting their family of seven in the near future
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