Even though it is north of the Equator, winter is coming to an end in Nicaragua now. This rainy season has been anything but with high temperatures and very little rain because of El Niño. Many people have told me this is the worst it has ever been. The planting has been stalled throughout the country with a prediction of NO harvest in some of the North. Other areas are looking at a harvest of only 10%. There is an official drought, and this combined with the effect of the world economic crisis (ie people already don’t have enough money to feed their families) is predicted to result in lots of hungry people. The government is buying all of the rice and bean harvest, such that it is, directly from the farmer to avoid price speculation in the coming lean months, but they are being criticized for having no plan to make sure that people can eat.
Rosemaria told me she was talking to a friend the other day who had put on a little weight. Her friend was only half joking when she said, I’m getting ready for the winter, girl, you’d better get some meat on those bones while you can. Jonathan was listening to Este Semana this week. They were talking to people in the north. They think they only have enough food for two more months.
So we are trying to figure out how to help. We are thinking of filling the car up with beans and rice and driving up north in the next few months.