Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


Charcoal production and empowerment of rural women (+ audio) .

Tamara Caridad Mesa González 23 febrero, 2021

When Elena Montes de Oca Alfonso analyzed the cost of electricity and the importance of saving for the family economy, she woke up one good day and decided to make charcoal. Elena lives in Jesús María, Limonar municipality, and she went back to her roots.

At the age of 69, she went into the Campo Verde farm where she can be seen sooty as well as preparing the yucca crab or stirring the ajiaco. She smiles and speaks with the typical intonation of the men and women of the mountain. She thus told her story to Radio 26.


The Cooperative of Credit and Servicies May 17th, since 2020 is immersed in the production of charcoal as a source of income that contributes to its profitability. This impelled that small producers like Elena will be inserted in the production and incidentally will eliminate invasive plants like the marabou.

Although Elena acknowledges that the carbon levels currently only contribute to the family economy, her actions contribute to the empowerment of rural women in Matanzas. Currently more than a million rural women in Cuba with their efforts guarantee food security in a country with an agricultural tradition.

Marcelo Resende de Souza, representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), valued in a very positive way the attention that the Cuban State provides to women living in the countryside, which has achieved a high degree of empowerment thanks to the inclusive policies of the Revolution.



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