El Lagartillo is a farming community whose history is instrincially linked with the Sandinista Revolution of 1979 and the Counter Revolution that took place immediately after.
The Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua sought to overthrow the 40 year dictatorship of the Somoza regmine and overhaul the systems of oppression and inequality inherited by the colonial system.
As part of the revolutionary process, farming co-operatives where formed throughout Nicaragua in order to redistribute land ownership to the peasant farmers who worked the land. El Lagartillo was one of these co-operatives and it’s founding members joined with the dream of working together to créate a brighter future for themselves and their familes.
Unfortunately, co-operatives like El Lagartillo were targets of the Counter Revolution forces, who sought to remove the Sandinista government from power in the 80’s. On December 31st, 1984, our community was attacked by counter revolutionary forces and we lost 6 members of our community in the defense of our community.
Though El Lagartillo is no longer formally a co-operative, the collective spirit and the desire to créate a better future lives on, along with the memories and fighting spirit of those we have lost.
La Escuela Hijos/Hijas de Maiz was fondead in 2003 to provide an additional income channel for the families of El Lagartillo, who work mostly as subsistence farmers. The association seeks to provide income to families and fund community projects that allow for a strong local economy – keeping families together and preventing the need for families to immigrate for better job opportunities.
The association is 100% owned and operated by community members and has been since our founding. All teachers, association leadership, and homestay families are part of the community.
Since our founding, we have funded and facilitated community projects focused on education, the environment, transport, and community sports teams.
Nationally, Nicaraguans refer to themselves as “Hijos/Hijas de Maiz,” which translates to “Sons/Daughters of Corn.” This is because in Nicaragua, corn is our main staple – we use it to make our tortillas, tamales, traditional drinks (pinol) and baked goods. In El Largartillo, we identify even more strongly with this sentiment because we are proud to be farmers that grow and harvest corn as one of our main crops.