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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Struggling with climate change

U.S. and Nicaraguan Lutherans help farmers adapt

At first glance nothing about the small vegetable plot seems remarkable. Drip irrigation hoses line neat rows of staked tomatoes. Corn stands tall and full under a hot sun. Beans and cucumbers lay heavy on vines, and the fragrance of a late summer garden fills the air. Only it’s not summer, it’s late January — the height of the dry season in western Nicaragua. And unlike this oasis, all of the other fields the ELCA delegation passed along miles of crater-pocked roads lay fallow.

Luisa Hermanda (left), a community
Luisa Hermanda (left), a community leader in El Bonete, stands with an unidentified woman during a break from conversation with the ELCA delegation to Nicaragua. She shared a map (below) of the community’s natural resources with the ELCA delegation.
chris mortenson
We were in Nicaragua to study how climate change affects people living in poverty. We traveled to the community of El Bonete to listen to people’s stories and hear about their struggles to adapt to a changing climate.


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