Community corn sheller in El Recreo
In 2010, through a private donation earmarked specifically for El Salvador, the corn sheller shown was purchased for use by all the families in El Recro. At the time villagers were shelling their corn by hand, which was a slow and laborious process. One process was to place ears of corn in a hammock, and then beat the corn with a stick causing the kernels of corn to fall thru the netting of the hammock onto the ground where it was collected and bagged. In some cases the shelling was so slow that a portion of the corn still on the husk had rotted or was moldy by the time villagers could get to shelling it. With the sheller a family could shell all their corn in a short period of time resulting in less loss.
After two years of drought where the sheller saw minimal use, but recent crops around El Recreo were so good that the machine has been put to near continuous operation. Families pay $1.00/day to use the machine. If families outside the village that want to use it, El Recreo charges them $1.25/day. Villagers recently built a small chest to store tools to repair the sheller when needed. With the funds from the rental of the corn sheller, residents purchased two new tables to use inside the church. Sheller funds are also used to help needy people in the community so they don’t always have to request our assistance.
El Recreo currently has 164 families in the community. When St. Boniface first visited there were 81 families. The villagers want to build and add a blower onto the sheller so they don’t have to use the wood fanning machine shown. The fanning machine is used to separate chaff from corn seed. Villagers believe this addition will earn more income for the community. This year everyone in the community is using the sheller. Several families a day can share it, and it has been being used steadily since December 20th. When the St. Boniface delegation visited in mid-January only four families had not yet used it.