Mothers groups in Colombia
Jan 10 2014

Colombian mothers create a small business that grows

Colombian vegetable garden

Members of the Familia Santa Martha mothers group in Colombia work in their garden.

Mothers everywhere have dealt with the age-old problem of getting the kids to eat their veggies. A group of mothers in Colombia have found a way to encourage their kids to enjoy vegetables and learn the value of hard work, all while increasing the sustainability of their families.

Read more to learn how they did it.

By Jordan Kimbrell, Unbound writer/editor, with information provided by the Colombia Communications Center

Mothers know how much work it takes to feed a family. The mothers of the Familia Santa Martha (Family of Saint Martha) mothers group certainly do and are teaching their kids as well.

When the group began three years ago, they met twice a month, planning what they wanted to do as a group, what they would call themselves and even coming up with their own logo.

They wanted to find work that would be productive, sustainable and also bring their families together. It didn’t take them long to decide on a project.

The Familia Santa Martha mothers live in a rural area, with plenty of fertile land between their homes. They made the best of their location and now have a successful business.

Each of the 12 participating mothers put in about a quarter each. With just a few dollars, they were able to buy seeds for lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower and beets.

Mothers brought their children with them to the garden, putting them to work tending the plants.

“I am happy because all the families are united in this project,” said Yamile, who has four children in the sponsorship program. “I like to see the mothers teaching their children and their love increase. The children learn to obey and to have rules to have a good life.

“We are happy because now they eat their vegetables, and they learned to love the vegetables because now they know the process.”

The mothers admit they didn’t know what they were doing at first and planted a bunch of lettuce. Two months after their first planting they had their first harvest — about a thousand heads of lettuce — which they decided to try selling to neighbors and local businesses.

The group soon became popular among local stores and restaurants for their fresh, natural, reasonably priced produce.

“This experience has been enriching [for me],” said Liliana, mother of two sponsored kids. “Now I am a better person because I have learned a lot in this group.

“I learned how to sell lettuce. At first I was shy, and now I am the best seller of vegetables of my group.”

This garden has given this group of mothers a chance to work hard to improve their own situations. They are providing healthy food for their families as well as their community.

Through this project they are gaining confidence, earning extra income and bringing their families even closer together.

4 thoughts on “Colombian mothers create a small business that grows”

  1. We Americans could learn a lot from these families! I’d like to hear from one of the kids how they view this new experience. I firmly believe that working and playing together growing up, keeps families closer together throughout their lives.
    Diane Austin Merriam, Ks.

    1. We agree, Diane. There’s much inspiration to be had from these and other mothers. I’m sure the kids got a lot of good from working in the garden. Thanks! – Jordan Kimbrell, Unbound writer/editor

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