Thursday, March 10, 2016

Celebrating our Women Who Make a Difference: Elisa Estrada Guido, F2F Field Officer in Nicaragua

F2F field officer, Elisa Estrada
Elisa Estrada has worked for Partners of the Americas for over eight years. In Nicaragua, she plays a large role in ensuring that our USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program is operating efficiently and with high quality. Last week, we interviewed her to get her thoughts on what it is like working for the Farmer-to-Farmer program, as well as being a woman in Nicaragua

What about the Farmer-to-Farmer program has inspired you to work for so long?

En Nicaragua para mí ser Oficial de Campo ha sido una gran oportunidad de cumplir mi sueño de hacer trabajo comunitario, de compartir conocimiento. Siempre he creído en la gente y en la oportunidad que necesitan las personas para fortalecer sus capacidades y mejorar su calidad de vida. Este no es un trabajo tradicional con horario convencional.

To be a field officer in Nicaragua has been a great opportunity to fulfill my dream to do community work, to share knowledge. I have always believed in people and the the opportunity that people need in order to strengthen their capacity to improve their quality of their life.  This is not a traditional job with conventional hours.

What does being a part of the Farmer-to-Farmer program mean to you?

Elisa (with F2F Nicaragua Country Director) meeting with cooperative
member in Guatemala
Con el programa F2F,  llevamos conocimiento y compartimos experiencias… Me ha permitido conocer mi propio país y viajar al extranjero. Yo no soy la misma persona de antes; ahora estoy más capacitada, más madura profesionalmente, y soy una persona que disfruta mucho su trabajo. [También,] soy madre y mis hijos están orgullosos del trabajo que hago y del cambio que nuestra vida ha tenido.

With the F2F program, we offer knowledge and share experiences… The program has allowed me to better understand my own country and travel abroad. I am not the same person I was before; now I am knowledgeable, more professionally mature, and I am a person who enjoys their work. [Also,] I am a mother and my kids are proud of the work I have done and the change it has had on our lives.  

Elisa presenting at the F2F Regional Meeting in Guatemala
In your country, what are the typical roles and responsibilities of women? Especially in agriculture?

En Nicaragua, el rol típico de la mujer era ser ama de casa, quedarse en el hogar, la crianza de los hijos y el cuido de la familia. En la agricultura,  actualmente está teniendo un rol más activo, debido a políticas públicas, estrategias de gobiernos, y programas sociales particulares que le están dando a la mujer un mayor protagonismos. [Mujeres ahora] tienen mayor protección y atención institucional en cuanto al tema de violencia intrafamiliar, planificación familiar, y educación. Esto no quiere decir que aún no tenemos mucho que trabajar… pero hemos mejorado poco a poco.  La Mujer hoy en día es más jefa de hogar, es profesional,  es proveedora del hogar, es agricultora, es la dueña de la tierra y de la casa, es la tomadora de decisiones, trabajadora, es emprendedora!   

In Nicaragua, the typical role of a woman was a housewife, to stay in the home, raise children, and take care of the family. In agriculture, women are having a more active role, due to public policies, the strategy of the government, and social programs that are giving women a larger role. Women now have greater protection and institutional care related to domestic violence, family planning, and education. This does not mean that we still do not have a lot of work... but we have improved little by little. A woman today is the head of the house, she is a professional, a provider, a farmer, an owner of land and a home, a decision-maker, worker, and entrepreneur.


Elisa at the head of a training session at the National Union of Farmers and Cattle
Ranchers (UNAG) in Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua
What is your top lesson that you have learned from working for Farmer-to-Farmer?

La principal lección es: Pequeños cambios pueden hacer una gran diferencia en la vida de las personas y Farmer-to-Farmer es un programa que impacta vidas!! 

The principle lesson is: Small changes can make a great difference in the life of people and F2F is a program that impacts lives!! 


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