Evelyn is a 19-year-old living in El Salvador.
Unfortunately, Evelyn and her peers often confront challenges within El Salvador’s current environment, facing high rates of social violence caused by a diversity of factors, including the lack of education and the shortage of jobs in the formal market.
Evelyn is determined to continue her education and earn an income. Thanks to a youth-focused Plan International USA fruit farming entrepreneurship program, she is charting her own path in self-employment, and is even hoping to eventually attend college.
“I decided to participate here because Plan sent an invitation to those who were interested in learning about the project, so I went and filled a form for the fruit tree planting project. Thank God I was selected,” she said. “I feel good because I feel that they are helping me a lot.”
Evelyn is determined to build her farming skills so she can add an extra layer of financial support for her family.
“I want to study Agronomy at the university to be much better in what I am learning so that I can help provide for my family,” she said. “I want to help my mother and to contribute so that my parents can get ahead economically.
“Since I registered in these Plan courses, my grandfather has given me an inheritance of a small land property exclusively for me because he has seen my motivation and he likes to see me improving myself,” she added.
Plan, through its entrepreneurship program, and especially the fruit farming project, has promoted local alliances and investment to strengthen project activities. The organization has worked with municipalities, the Ministry of Labor, the private sector, and local nongovernmental organizations to launch the project. “Mundo Verde” (Green World), an organization that specializes in fruit tree production, will offer its services and free consultation for the production of fruit trees and for the implementation of commercial parcels of land. Moreover, the NGO “Pastoral de la Tierra” (Pastoral for the Earth) will facilitate technical assistance and training services in the area of organic agriculture for the project’s youth participants.
Currently, there are 110 young participants, 50% of whom are women.
With the support of many, Evelyn has high hopes for the future.
“About a year ago, I didn’t know anything about agriculture,” she said. “I had the uncertainty of not having anything to do because I had no life project to move on. I saw myself as someone who would not succeed in life, and now I see that I am growing as a person and in knowledge thanks to the project.”