By Jonathan Lemus
Brigido Rojas Tambo has always liked working with animals. He lives in the community of Antaquira up in the Bolivian highlands with his wife and four children. In 2000, he decided to purchase 20 chickens so that he could generate more income for his family by selling eggs.
By 2004, Brigido had gained 40 more chickens. Although he earned a good reputation for his success, he knew that he could still improve egg production. However, he would need someone to help him.
Four years later, Samaritan’s Purse started animal and agriculture training sessions in his region. Brigido took the opportunity to attend the workshops so that he could grow his chicken business. While he received the technical support he needed, our staff became inspired to begin developing a project for a large-scale, egg-producing micro-enterprise. We chose Brigido to help us implement the pilot project in Caquiaviri.
In 2011, Samaritan’s Purse began implementing the project, which consisted of several workshops facilitated by our agricultural staff, the construction of two chicken coops equipped to raise up to 320 chickens each, and the provision of ongoing technical support.
By the end of 2011, the chicken coops were complete, and in December, each micro-enterprise owner received 320 chicks. The project has faced several challenges, especially since there is no precedent for raising chickens in the Altiplano’s high elevation of 13,000 ft, and its arid climate and below freezing temperatures in the evenings.
Brigido has enthusiastically met the challenges head on. So far, the results have been excellent for him and he is currently collecting 295 eggs each day. Brigido is not only selling eggs to his local community, but also four wholesalers in four neighboring communities. During peak production, these sales represent a net income of roughly $250 each month, far higher than the average salary in Bolivia.
Brigido has been a Christian for 10 years now and is grateful to Samaritan’s Purse for being a channel through which God has blessed him and his family. He recognizes that these blessings come straight from the hand of God.