Each Lent, Catholic families across the country unite to put their faith into action through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Through CRS Rice Bowl, families learn about how our sisters and brothers across the globe overcome hardships like hunger and malnutrition, and how through Lenten alms, we have the power to make the world a better place for all.
Meet Edwin C. Some young people in Ahuachapán in eastern El Salvador think that being a farmer is a thing of the past. Their families have farmed for generations, but climate change and soil erosion have caused harvests and incomes to shrink considerably.
Edwin C., a 17-year-old eager to support his parents and two little brothers, did not see farming in his future. However, when he learned about how new techniques and technology are changing farming to help restore the environment, he changed his mind and joined a group of 220 students who are learning new agricultural skills.
Sadly, El Salvador has lost 75% of its rich land because of deforestation and harmful agricultural practices like the extensive use of fertilizers, making it one of the most food-insecure countries in the hemisphere. “He who knows has an obligation to act,” says Edwin, who now knows different farming techniques that produce healthier crops. Also, thanks to CRS’ Raíces Ahuachapán school program, Edwin has also learned how to grow vegetables at home—knowledge that is extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pope Francis reminds us that “young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis.” Thanks to programs like CRS’ Raíces Ahuachapán, young people are becoming active agents of that change.