Agros is founded on the conviction that the rural poor can and should be empowered to take control of their own destiny
Agros, (Latin for “land,”) has been helping to break the cycle of poverty for landless, rural, poor families in Mexico and Central America since 1982. By offering access to agricultural land, long-term credit, and training in sustainable farming techniques and community development, families who were once migrant pickers and the like are able to start, develop and eventually own homes, farms, and the businesses they create for themselves.
As an awareness of the plight of those at origin grows, people are gaining an understanding of what the coffee farming family endures in order to produce their product. Months of hunger, lack of education and limited access to healthcare are only some of the challenges they face. Imagine though, being on the economic level below that even of the small coffee farmer, on the level of the migrant coffee picker’s family, who not only make a dismal wage for a short period out of the year, but also have nothing to sustain the basic needs of raising a family; shelter, food, clean water, and most importantly, secure family relationships.
These are the people Agros International seeks out. Through Agros’ unique, time-tested, practical assistance, poor families gain the land and skills to build a better future. While respecting the knowledge, spirituality, and experience of the people, Agros supports training that brings about change in the whole person and the whole community. Agros offers step-by-step assistance and training in the following areas:
- Community and leadership development
- Sustainable farming techniques through diversified agricultural production
- Building homes, self-composting latrines, community buildings, roads, schools and more
- Family Health and child well-being assessment and education
- Business and market development
Agros believes that those who pay for goods and services retain a greater amount of dignity and develop a stronger sense of ownership than those who learn to expect others to meet their needs for them. Agros material and financial support is for a limited time. Therefore, the families who participate must eventually support themselves through productive enterprises, viable social structures, and sustainable management of natural resources. The great success of Agros’ model is evidenced by the thousands of families who have paid off their land and micro-loans in the short span of five to ten years. Land ownership is key to eradicating poverty.
Who Benefits From This Project?
Coffee is the main income-producing crop for many Agros villages. Of Agros partner communities, 44 are producing coffee for commercial sale: 3 in Nicaragua, 1 in Honduras and 40 in Guatemala. Where possible, Agros has worked with communities to secure contracts for international export, as well as facilitating direct trade relationships.
How Can I Help?
YOU CAN CHANGE LIVES. Visit www.agros.org to learn practical ways to get your staff, customers and community excited about making a difference in the lives of coffee farming families. Go on a “Vision Trip” to see Agros’ in action and join in this worthy work.