Projects in education provide hope for the future // January 7th, 2014

Scholarship recipient Cenelia Kuan, from Jinotega, Nicaragua

Scholarship recipient Cenelia Kuan, from Jinotega, Nicaragua

 

Cenelia Kuan is a single mother who, in addition to being a member of her cooperative’s women’s savings group, has received a scholarship to study agricultural engineering. She has invested the money she has saved in her small grocery store as well as in the diversification of her coffee plot by planting passion fruit, oranges and other fruit trees.

Projects in education are investments in the community and in the future of coffee farming. Participants such as Cenelia learn new skills and apply these skills to their own businesses and are able to watch their families’ quality of life improve.

Some scholarships, such as those offered by the cooperative SOPPEXCCA in Jinotega, Nicaragua, provide funds for students to continue their education while they also learn to run their own businesses. “I’m happy with this project,” explains Nolvin José Chavarría, “because I can simultaneously continue my studies while learning how to run a business. My dream is to help my parents so that their coffee farm will prosper. My goal is to live a dignified and pleasant life, without having to worry about money or health.”

This is surely the goal that many parents in Acatenango, Guatemala have for their children as well. Las Nubes daycare and afterschool center provides many children with the extra support they need to succeed in school. Donations from our supporters make this project a reality.

Odilia Petrona Quino Solís is a 13-year-old participant in the Las Nubes project. Her mother works long hours in a nearby community, leaving Odilia in charge of taking care of her two younger brothers. “If I weren’t able to come here,” she says, “I would probably be taking care of my brothers at home or helping my mom with her work.”

Before Odilia joined the daycare, she could hardly read and was having trouble getting along with classmates. She has made significant progress in the two years she has been a part of Las Nubes and now demonstrates a strong sense of responsibility in her schoolwork as well as in her household chores. She enjoys handicraft activities and has discovered that she is a talented painter. According to Odilia, “I really like coming to [Las Nubes] because I get to take painting classes and hang out with other girls. The food here is really good and when I get home, I’m not hungry like I used to be.”

Projects such as these make a difference not only in the lives of the participants, but also in the long-term sustainability of the communities and in their ability to continue farming coffee.


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