photo of child


The factory promises to offer alternative employment for peasants in this area where farming is so difficult and unreliable

Weston Benedictine Monks
Journey to Nicaragua
Winter Retreat, 2001

A new industry at La Garnacha


We gather for morning prayer in the lovely little church and then meet for breakfast together. The sisters who have accompanied us from San Nicolas are housed in one of the neighboring homes, and we notice delay in their arrival for breakfast. We learn shortly that they have gone back to San Nicolas in the truck to fetch the forgotten supplies needed for breakfast.

The pace of life in La Garnacha is not quite as brisk as the winds. The little street is very still. There is no sound of radio or TV, no vehicles. A few dogs, chickens and pigs wander slowly around. A little delay for breakfast fits in well. There are no signs of impatience, just more humor and laughter.

But there is a new industry in town. After breakfast, Brother Patricio invites us to see the new cheese factory, recently built by the brothers.

Mexican sisters at the cheese factory
Mexican sisters at the cheese factory

The factory is just in its beginning stages but promises to offer alternative employment for peasants in this area where farming is so difficult and unreliable because of the weather and soil conditions.

Pablito, the father of a large family in a neighboring village, has been sent for special training and now is manager of the factory.

He explains carefully each step in the process of cheese-making. The cheese is made from the milk of goats that can be raised successfully in this climate and on this land.

cheesemake explains process
Pablito explains his work
Brother Philip greeted by kids
Brother Philip is greeted by kids
From the factory, we are led to the brothers' farm. When we enter the large barn, goats come from all sides, goats of many kinds and sizes.

Brother Patricio tells us that the government has named the La Garnacha farm as the national center for raising goats.

This has brought considerable attention and support to the brothers' project, but it has also increased the work load. New construction and larger barns have become necessary.

Next: New methods of farming

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