Name: Pedro Armando Pineda
Community: Santa Fe, Ocotepeque, Honduras
Meet Pedro. He has been working in the coffee fields since he was 15. In early 2016 he joined the Coffee Kids Rural Business Workshops based in the tri-border area of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. With the training he received and the funding he was awarded, Pedro started a small agricultural business to supplement his coffee farming.
I started my business just about five months ago with my brother. I sell mostly coffee related products like fertilizer, fungicides, seeds, and pruning tools. Sales have increased little by little as more and more people hear about my business and develop trust in my products. Plus it helps that I am the only business in my small community. I just want to express my gratitude for the program. It helped me immensely. I would love to someday have my very own chain of stores.
Because of our community of supporters, Pedro has been empowered to continue coffee farming in his community and make a steady, year-round income.
UNIOCAFE (Honduras), APOLO (Guatemala) and El Tunel (El Salvador) are farmer associations based in in the Trifinio region, the border area between Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The farmer organizations offer services such as marketing, input supply, and technical assistance to its members and act as facilitators for social initiatives in the region. Together, the associations represent close to 1000 farmers.
Young men and women in the coffee-growing regions of Trifinio feel deeply connected to their land and have expressed a desire to stay and farm coffee. They want to honor the coffee tradition of their families while also modernizing their practices. They also want to explore ways to increase and diversify their income. Unfortunately, while they know there are opportunities to strengthen their coffee communities through the use of new agricultural and business methods, the lack of available training, mentorship, and capital have kept these methods out of reach.
There is a Coffee Kids component within a broader Generaciones program which consists of training, mentoring, and a Youth Coffee Challenge Fund. The program started by training an enthusiastic and knowledgeable group of youth trainers who then replicated workshops in over 15 communities in the Trifinio Area, reaching over 150 youth. Over a period of a few months these young men and women will participate in hands-on, interactive entrepreneurial training, using their new skills to develop business plans. These plans will be entered into a competition for seed funding from the Youth Coffee Challenge Fund. The best business plans will receive funding as well as mentorship from an established coffee entrepreneur.
Young farmers working together, innovating, and jointly administering funds to invest in farms and their communities will provide social cohesion and inter-generational exchange. It will also create an incentive for youth to take a broader role on their family farms, or to take on farming as a vocation.