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Youth & Economic Empowerment

Cecy’s Beginning: Fruit Farming

Cecy lives in El Salvador in Central America, a country characterized by its strong and hardworking people.

Unfortunately, high levels of violence caused by a lack of education and employment are prominent throughout the country. Cecy lives in Cuscatlán, which is known for a lack of jobs and opportunities, especially for youth.

Cecelia is part of a fruit farming project.

Cecy, however, is looking to flip the script.

She participates in El Carmen’s San Sebastian’s School botanical nursery. The experience has been rewarding for her because it has helped improve personal and economic development.

“I thank Plan [International] and the other institutions that make these entrepreneurial projects possible,” she said. “The projects benefit us young people and allow us to dream and accomplish those dreams, like owning our own business and financially supporting our family. “

Plan has partnered with local communities and organizations on the Youth Inclusive Fruit Farming Value Chain Project t.

Agreements have been signed with CENTA and the Green World Company (Empress Mundo Verde), which specializes in plant nurseries.

In addition, Plan has established partnerships with the National Commission for Micro and Small Enterprises (CONAMYPE), the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Land, and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Currently, 111 young people are participating, 60 of whom are girls and young women. Training modules are developed to include lessons on life skills, financial literacy, business management, and technical working skills such as the production of papaya, guava, passion fruit, and pineapple.

Cecy is in school and plans to continue until she earns her bachelor’s degree, which she will obtain with support from her business and family.

“The fruit farming project is very important in my life,” she said. “I have learned many new things like running a [botanical] nursery, how to save [money], and how to manage a business, among other things. It has given me the tools so that I can better deal with [whatever the] future brings. “

Cecy is happy with what she does. She gets along with her colleagues and contributes ideas. She is part of a group of 19 young people in the community participating in community mapping processes.

“My goal is primarily to continue studying a university degree,” she said. “I would love to work as a nurse or social worker.”

Her participation in the project is a step in the right direction.

“From the beginning, I saw it was a good opportunity to train in something that I like,” she said. “I have a nursery with my brother and we have fruits and ornamental plants that sell in our community and fairs nationwide. Yet, we [continue to train] in a theoretical and practical way. It is important to participate in this type of project because many young people are able to find different opportunities to earn a living and [overcome barriers].”

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