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Many projects and causes are “macro” in nature in that they are a series of complicated steps and processes to implement the change desired. Here is a very simple project with immediate results worthy of your consideration.
Hemisphere Coffee Roasters has been working with Diego and Leslie Chavarria, outside of Matagalpa, Nicaragua for the past six years. Through this direct-trade partnership many improvements in the lives of the growers and immediate community have been observed. A premium of .75 to $1.00 over commodity has been paid to these farmers for 2-3 containers each year. This has enabled the farmer to pay better wages, improve the farm benefits (housing, food), provide education for the children and sponsor a network of pastors and development initiatives.
One such initiative is to utilize the low land on the farm in a crop share arrangement with the 90-plus families that live on and near his farm, to grow corn and beans. The Chavarrias provide the land and seed, while the workers plant and care for the crops. At harvest the workers keep a major portion of the crops to sell and benefit directly from their labor.
This farm, located 19 kilometers out of El Tuma in the Guapitol region (Nicaragua) grows exceptional high quality, shade-grown coffee. This coffee has intense lemony notes and an awesome chocolate finish. The plantations are well cared for and while not certified organic, it is grown in a natural state.
While Diego and Leslie are a conduit of blessing to their entire community, they still are recovering from the devestation of the many years of low coffee prices. Every building needs repair, Many of the tin roofs have patches. Piping and machinery need overhauled and upgraded. In the midst of this busy, working farm stands a small wooden building, referred to as farm kitchen. Most days this shack has smoke billowing from its open vents in the roof and the workers come to the doorway for fresh air. The Chavarrias have plans to tear this kitchen down and replace it with a fully ventelated block structure. Because of Hemisphere Coffee Roasters commitment and partnership with this family we are working to raise the funds needed ($12,000. USD) to do it sooner than later.
Who Benefits From This Project?
Over 250 workers are fed three meals a day out of this kitchen. Beginning around four o’clock AM each morning a staff of four workers begin the work of preparing the vast amounts of food. Four separate fires are lit, over 800 tortillas are fried, 100 pounds of beans and three huge kettles of rice are cooked. The conditions in this kitchen are extremly unhealthy and are deteriating the health of these workers.
The direct benefactors of a new kitchen are the four to five workers and their children that come and go from this building. Additionally all 250 farm workers benefit from more sanitary enviroment for the food service on the farm.
The new farm kitchen will also include gas burners to suppliment the wood fuel. Plans call for along the outside rear of the building will be laundry tubs and sinks to allow the workers to do laundry and clean up in this area and stay out of the streams and water pools.
How Can I Help?
Your help in cash donations is most needed to fund this project. This project is being hosted on indiegogo.com. If you are interested in helping out you can go to that site, search for Café Diego and make your donation. You can also go to Youtube and search for Café Diego and watch a short clip on this project. Or call or email us and we would be glad to give you more direct contact with this great coffee and the growers. Hemisphere Coffee Roasters can send you supporting material for your café or shop to allow your customers to directly participate.