Down on the farm
NPH El Salvador’s children learn about sustainability while enjoying some time with the farm animals.
Reported by Carmina Salazar
Communication Officer, NPH El Salvador
June 14, 2018
NPH El Salvador has a farm with more than 50 cattle; it is thanks to these cows that we are able to provide two glasses of milk for our kids and employees every day. Milk is served in the mornings and during dinners. Also, we occasionally use one of the cows for meat. Having the livestock on our property makes it entertaining and fascinating for our kids to visit, especially since we also have six donkeys there. The youngest find it fun to see the animals so close and get to touch them, and the oldest ones love to learn about how our staff care for the animals and put food on our plates.
Recently, some of our younger children went to the farm to learn from Marquitos, one of the staff members, about how to milk cows, and also see a newborn baby calf. Adventurous kids, like the little siblings Marcos* and Marleny,* always get excited when going to see the livestock, because they love animals and don’t often get to be so close to cows and donkeys. The little siblings, who are 10 and 6 years old, arrived to our home last year. Marcos says, “I like the calves; they are my favorite animals here.” His sister, Marleny, prefers the donkeys, “My favorite animals are the donkeys because they are very sweet and friendly. I like to ride on their backs.”
Young teens like Wilmer*, Elvin*, and Denis* also find it very interesting to visit the cow barn because they get to see all of the work that is done there. All three came to live with us at a very young age, and now being 15- and 16-years-old makes them aware of the importance of producing milk in our home. Especially after having been witnesses of the growth in the agriculture program; in the past our home did not have cattle at all. Denis, who is in 8th grade, states “I like the little calves; they will grow up, which means that all my brothers and sisters will continue to have milk.”
Wilmer and Elvin are both in 9th grade. They both remember going to the farm and having a good time when they were younger. “I remember we used to visit to see the cows; I liked to ride the calves’ backs when I was a little boy, just like Marleny likes to do it now. Some things never change!” says Wilmer. Elvin adds, “It was very fun to come when we were younger, but now it’s nice to see our little siblings enjoying it as much as we did.”
All of our kids are aware of how blessed they are to have a farm in their home; thanks to it, they get to drink milk every day and eat meat, too. “I love to drink milk because it’s delicious and good for me. Coming here and seeing the cows that produce the milk is very fun. We can thank them when we see them. Thank you, Mrs. cow!” Marleny yells to the cows near her. The NPH El Salvador family is very thankful to every one who supports us in helping our farm grow, to produce more delicious milk for our children.
*Names changed for privacy purposes.
Photo above: Marleny enjoys a donkey ride – Tía Ana and Marquitos enjoy seeing her happy; Photos below: From left to right: Marcos (10), Elvin (15), Marleny (6), Wilmer (16), and Denis (15); Wilmer with the little siblings Marcos and Marleny having fun with the donkeys; The young boys Denis, Elvin, and Wilmer with Marquitos, the staff member who shared stories with them; Denis with a group of kids in the farm. He likes to teach the younger ones not to be afraid of animals.