Several years ago, when Artists for Soup Executive Director Judy Nichols was conducting academic research in Costa Rica, she heard a distressing but common refrain from Nicaraguan women who migrated there seasonally for work: “We have our houses in Nicaragua but nothing there to eat.”
Artists for Soup was founded in 2014 as a response to growing hunger and malnutrition in Nicaragua. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and has one of the highest ratios of income inequality in the world.
Nicaragua has experienced severe cycles of drought and flooding that damage soil fertility, which in turn affects the local food supply. Artists for Soup Nicaraguan staff collaborate with community groups and individuals to address the environmental challenges of producing food in this region.
Artists for Soup teaches biointensive gardening. This science-based agro-ecological approach is designed to improve soil fertility and drought resilience, producing a stable supply of food. Through our efforts to improve nutrition we support school and family gardens, nutritional tree reforestation, and the adoption of solar ovens and high-efficiency stoves to reduce smoke inhalation and deforestation.
To balance the hot and demanding work of gardening in volcanic soil, Artists for Soup also supports women’s arts collectives comprised of local volunteers who work on school and family gardens. These arts collectives have the potential to turn into small enterprises and provide additional income to women and their families.
At Artists for Soup we believe food resources are most secure when communities develop them locally. It is our belief that learning the principles of conservation required for sustainable, local food production improves the economy and environment of the communities where we work in Nicaragua.
Contact us at:
Artists for Soup
P.O. Box 835, Millbrook, NY 12545