By Eugene Lee; Edited by Leanna Cappiello
With each swing of his pickaxe, Lucio breaks the dry ground of his onion garden. He walks along the perimeter, gently uprooting the onions beneath his feet. Shaking off the loose dirt, he collects the fruits of his labor.
Lucio is breaking ground in his community as well: he proves that actions speak louder than words. Agricultural training and parenthood education programs, sponsored by World Vision, have been catalysts for change in Lucio's life, community involvement and the future of his daughter, Yuridia.
Many people in Lucio's community don't make enough money to meet basic needs. Despite the area's high poverty rate and hardscrabble land, Lucio and his wife, Alejandrina, manage to make ends meet for their family of eight.
However, this abundance was not always the case for Lucio's family. "I was a very poor man. The only thing I had were a couple of sheep," he says. 17 years ago, he took an agricultural training program that not only taught him how to grow a wide variety of vegetables, but also gave him supplies to build greenhouses.
As Lucio's participation in sponsorship-funded programs grew, his heart was also open to new ways of thinking and leading.
In addition to the agricultural training, an educational program on active fatherhood taught Lucio how to be a better parent. The parenthood program challenged traditional male values in Lucio's community, encouraging fathers to be involved with their kid's lives. They learned to help their children with schoolwork, take them to the doctor and speak with them more openly.
Soon, Lucio began to see the value of education for his children. He went against cultural norms and encouraged his 13-year-old daughter, Yuridia, a sponsored child, to pursue school. Since there isn't a high school in Lucio's community, he sent Yuridia to live with an aunt in a nearby city so she could continue her education successfully. This decision decreased the chance of early marriage for Yurida.
Lucio's ability to lead by example and evoke change and charity is alive and real, and his family and community are thriving because of it.
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