World Neighbors just completed a successful collaboration with the Starbucks Foundation. For the past three years, the Starbucks Foundation has been the primary funder for a major World Neighbors project in the Atitlan and Chorti regions of Guatemala. The overall goal of this project was to improve the lives of 4,000 marginalized, rural families in 24 coffee-growing communities. The project had three primary objectives:
1) Improve nutrition and dietary diversity by promoting the use and consumption of local resources, with an emphasis on children under two and pregnant women;
2) Diversify and improve sustainable family agriculture by implementing good practices that increase family consumption of nutritious foods and improve income generation; and
3) Promote healthy behaviors in communities by facilitating access to safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene practices.
As the project comes to a close, the beneficiaries of the project feel that their lives have progressed and now have new skills to continue to improve their circumstance and environment. Eliseo Guarcas, from San Lucas Toliman in the Atitlan region, said,
“I’m participating in the training workshops on Community Health and Sustainable Agriculture and receiving technical advice to improve my crops of coffee, corn and beans. My life is better now because I know more, thanks to the trainings I received. My family has also improved, and I have a better understanding of common diseases in my house and how to prevent them. Now we have a better understanding on how to make the most of our crops and use very bit of our land better to produce more food and even to have a surplus to sell and generate income. I was trained to become a facilitator and I enjoyed replicating the workshops on every topic on which I received training. This is a big challenge for me: To move forward, continue learning and teaching to others what I have received from World Neighbors.”
Thanks to the Starbucks Foundation, Eliseo and thousands of villagers just like him are living more abundant and fulfilling lives. This is holistic development! Due to the great success of this project, the Starbucks Foundation is awarding World Neighbors a new grant in Huehuetenango, Guatemala to continue building upon this positive momentum. This coincides with the introduction of Starbucks’ single origin coffee from Huehuetenango and National Coffee Day on September 29th.