When the rains began in Central America in June, Alejandro Fuentes took his nine-year old son, his hair discolored by malnutrition, and walked back and forth across his small farm in the parched south of Honduras. They poked holes in the ground with sharpened sticks, dropping in their last seeds of corn and beans. Fuentes said he prayed with each seed he dropped, asking God to let the rains continue.
The El Niño weather pattern defied Fuentes’s prayers and by September his corn crop had withered. It was the third successive year of a crippling drought that has bedeviled more than 1.5 million people in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.