I enjoy visiting with the women who show genuine interest and pride in their family gardens.”
— Loida García Quiroga
Names: Loida García Quiroga and Nathan Harder
Hometown: Mountain Lake, Minnesota (First Mennonite Church)
Assignment: As water resource and community development workers in Bolivia, we carry out project activities with our local partners in the Mennonite colonies of Durango and La Esperanza and in the Indigenous Guaraní community of Caipepe.
Typical days: We typically travel to visit Caipepe and the colonies once or twice each week. The places in the colonies where we work with families are a one- to two-hour drive in a pickup truck, while we usually travel to Caipepe on bicycle since it is much closer to our home. Our work currently is focused on accompanying families as they install household rainwater catchment systems and helping them learn how to use the water to grow vegetables. We usually arrive back at home mid-afternoon and work on the experimental fruit and vegetable plot which occupies most of the property where we live.
Joys: Getting to know many interesting people and hearing their stories of living in this area. Our main motivation is in seeing how we can come together from different backgrounds to work toward a better understanding of how we are all members of God’s creation, and where our efforts can do the most good with the tools we have to use.
Challenge: Understanding the very different viewpoints within and between the communities we serve, which affect how people make decisions individually and collectively.