The CHOICE model is unique because it provides hand ups rather than handouts by teaching communities how to organize themselves to tackle the problems they face. In the community of Peñitas, Mexico, CHOICE helped establish an aquaponics system so the locals could raise plants and fish to eat and sell. However, shortly after this system was established, the water system in Peñitas went out. This was a devastating turn of events for the locals, because without water, the plants and fish that relied on the aquaponics system would soon die, and the program would fail. The cooperative that managed the aquaponics system could have called the CHOICE team for help; instead, they took matters into their own hands.
The women of the cooperative came up with an idea and decided to act. With the help of CHOICE Humanitarian, they had previously built ovens in the community to make pizzas and other baked goods. The women of the cooperative took initiative to use their new resources to help their community. They came together and used the ovens to make pizzas, which they sold throughout the community. With the proceeds from their self-made fundraiser, they were able to bring in a water truck to replenish the water supply in the aquaponics system. However, one truck was not enough to get the community water system running again. Undaunted, the women came together again, made more pizzas, and sold them again. By working together twice to raise the funds for water trucks, the women were able to get the community water system running again and save the aquaponics system, along with all the plants and fish that relied on it.
This story provides a shining example of the success of the CHOICE Humanitarian model. CHOICE strives to help communities become self-developing; to help communities think for themselves and utilize their own resources, so that their path out of extreme poverty can be sustained even when the humanitarian organization that helped lift them up is gone. The women of the Peñitas cooperative illustrate the principles of this model perfectly: when disaster struck, they did not call the CHOICE team or the volunteers from the U.S. who had come to participate in one of CHOICE’s humanitarian trips. Instead they came together and utilized their own resources to solve the problem at hand. By building the ovens CHOICE gave the community of Peñitas the means to support themselves; by encouraging and empowering women in the community to have a place and say in leadership, the women of the cooperative were able to take ownership of their new resources to create a self-sustaining solution to their disaster, benefitting their whole community in the process.
Thanks to the women of the Peñitas cooperative, the aquaponics system was saved and is now flourishing, producing fish and vegetables that will provide both food and income for the community of Peñitas. The self-reliability the people of Peñitas have shown hints at a bright future of continued progress and a self-sustained path out of poverty.
Mr. Baltazar lives in the community of Ejido de Detiña in Acambay Mexico. Three years ago he started his sheep project.
At first, he was very disappointed because his animals were not growing and he was not earning a lot of money from them.
He became part of CHOICE’s entrepreneurs' group. He went to all the training meetings and put forth great time and effort to apply the knowledge he gained from them.Read more
Mrs. Irene and Mr. Gregorio are producers from Ejido de Detiña in Acambay, Mexico. They had a small, but not profitable, bovine production. At times they didn’t regain the investments made and had to sell animals in the face of an emergency.
Three years ago they requested a loan from CHOICE Mexico to buy breeding sheep. They attended workshops for entrepreneurs in animal production and, with this and their efforts, they were able to improve their production.Read more
On behalf of the staff, Board of Trustees, and the tens of thousands of villagers whose lives you have helped improve thank you for being a part of the CHOICE Humanitarian family. Together, we reached new heights in 2017, and we owe this success to you for two reasons. First, you believe that extreme poverty can and should end in our lifetime. And second, you trust that CHOICE Humanitarian is the organization best suited to achieve this goal. Quite simply, you are the reason CHOICE continues to flourish and, on behalf of the entire CHOICE team, we can't thank you enough! 2017 Impact Report
As part of the Spring Into Action campaign running from April 16 – May 1, we will be posting daily about topics related to extreme poverty and how anyone and everyone can join the movement to end it.
Think about it: There are individuals living in extreme poverty worldwide who have ingenious ideas. From inventions to business ventures, creative ideas are universal. However, because these individuals lack collateral, they are considered “unbankable.”
Liliana is 11 years old and lives in the community of Rincon de la Concepcion Mexico State. And she is the youngest person working in egg production in her community.Read more
Mrs. Adriana is learning how to raise swine to sell and to provide her family with nutritious food as part of a class that CHOICE Mexico is teaching.
Paul recently returned from an expedition to Mexico where he observed the path that the village of La Concha in Guanajuato, Mexico is taking to create sustainable income opportunities for their residents.Read more
When you hear someone say, "I went to Mexico." What comes to mind? Cruise ships. A picturesque vista. Palm trees. Fruity beverages. Oh, and tropical weather. Yes, all the vacation-y things. You typically don't imagine your days south of the border to be serenaded by birds and your freezing cold nights set to the soundtrack of about 1 million dogs.
In this particular case, they were.
Women are strong. Women are agents of change. Yet women in poor communities bear almost the entire responsibility for providing the basic needs for their families, yet are largely left without resources.Read more