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Suzanne Mills (Olanchito, 2005-7) May 2022 Issue

In April 2021, the young adults of Aldea de Las Flores, Olanchito, Yoro constructed an aquaponics agricultural system with a $1,000 grant from Amigos. With the goal of helping the community transition to more sustainable agricultural methods, this project uses an innovative system of tanks to raise tilapia as well as grow vegetables using the resulting fish waste as fertilizer. The youth constructed the system in about a month with training and support from an Olanchito-based NGO, ALFALIT. ALFALIT’s current female executive director, Lesly Zuñiga, rose to her current role from within the organization over the course of the past decade after initially working as a field technician. In the year since the aquaponics system was constructed, the youth have had two successful fish and vegetable harvests. These products not only help improve nutrition for project participants and their families, but also provide them with a source of additional income through sale of the surplus. The project continues to operate and is intended to be a long-term fixture in the community. The first of its kind in the municipality, it also serves as a model for other aquaponics systems that ALFALIT hopes to help other communities construct in the future.

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