coffee kids colombiaOver the course of the past summer two new youth groups were established in Colombia, bringing our total number of youth up to 70 in Colombia and 313 across all three regions! The youth all live in the region of La Risaralda, in three different small communities. La Risaralda is situated west of Bogota and south of Medellin. The proximity of our youth groups allows for exchange among these young farmers and gives them a way to build on each other’s motivation and drive. The youth who are further along in their businesses are developing the skills to become mentors, sharing learning and advice. It also elevates the role of youth and youth coffee in the community and producer associations.

The youth in the small community of Quinchia, our second cohort, recently finished their training and are now on their way to launch their new businesses. The 25 youth in this group are between the ages of 15-29, including 14 young women and 11 young men. And they are full of energy, ideas, and really willing to support each other even giving the big age difference in this small group.

During the training period our incredible youth coordinator, Daniel Valencia, a young Colombian of 27 years old himself, visited the family and farm with each youth. A critical key to the success of these young adults is buy-in from their families, so we spend time ensuring everyone knows what is happening and families have a clear role in supporting their children’s vision – without driving it themselves.

Youth-run businesses typically fall into 3 main categories: 1) direct agricultural production including coffee, plantains, and coco; 2) raising animals, including chickens, pigs, and fish; 3) developing a product for retail, such as a coffee shop, coffee-infused yogurts, and aloe vera. Here are the projects for the group in Quinchia:

  1. Direct agricultural production
    • Growing new coffee, establishing coffee plants – 5
    • Maintaining existing coffee, established coffee in production age, Growing coffee – 1
    • Growing new coco plants – 1
  2. Raising animals
    • Building a chicken coop and raising broiler chickens (for eating) – 8
    • Building a hen house and raising hens – 1
    • Raising Pigs – 1
    • Building a large tank for raising fish and raising fish to eat – 1
  3. Developing a product for retail
    • Aloe Vera Products – 1

We can’t wait to see the success of these new businesses!

Want to invest in a start-up enterprise? Consider a donation to our Seed Capital Fund where youth match your investment putting in the hard work to get a new business off the ground.