Community life improved with new products made from palm fruit and cashews
In semi-arid regions in Brazil, little wealth exists beyond the palm fruits and cashews that grow in this climate. For the generations of people who have made do with these limited means, most have simply resigned themselves to a life filled with poverty and hunger. That is, until the Unified Teaching Center of Teresina, Piaui (CEUT) Enactus team gave them hope for better lives with the knowledge these items could have greater uses.
With support from the Province Government and City Hall, the team started training programs in the town of Marrua aimed at teaching the residents how use cashews and pequi to produce sweetmeats, jam and juice. They also taught them to develop crafts from the palm tree wood. These new items were then marketed and sold at a local festival that generated $2,000. Due to the success and continued demand in the area for these new products, the town has now built a dedicated production center to make the items. This new center is even equipped with a power transformer that is also being used to provide electricity to homes and community water wells.
The “Palmeirais Project” has changed the lives of 28 families living in extreme poverty and taught an entire community to look beyond initial limitations. The effort has turned palm trees into a way to make a living and taught residents food production, business skills and financial literacy to have greater financial security.