26 Jan Voices from Miraflor – Elyn
Elyn grew up in Miraflor, Nicaragua. At the time, despite being 254 km squared of land, Miraflor was owned by just 5 families. Elyn’s grandparents raised her. They, like everyone else in Miraflor, were workers on one of the five wealthy families’ farms. Elyn began to work on the farm once she was 6 and at 15 she married her husband Juan Antonio.
The revolution started and the land was confiscated from the five wealthy families, 65 of the people from Elyn’s community moved into one of the family’s mansions. Over the next few years they defended themselves from attacks. Each day a volunteer came and taught them to read and write. During this period Elyn’s three daughters were born. They became the youngest members of the community living in the mansion.
Eventually the fighting ended and the government redistributed the land. Elyn and Juan became smallholders. They joined with others to form a co-operative to sell their produce together. In 2000 Elyn completed her education and along with 10 other women she formed a women’s co-operative so that they could have more influence in their community. She says now people come to their group when they have problems. People ask the group for advice and help. All three of her daughters are members and the co-operative has grown to include 28 women.
Elyn is 52 now. She still lives with her husband on their farm. She’s a member of UCA Miraflor, the co-operative that grow all of our coffee. She says she doesn’t see herself as a leader.