Well-Being – Projects
For 100+ years Nicaragua has been one of the world’s top coffee producers, with the department of Jinotega accounting for 80% of the country’s production. Small, medium, and large coffee producers export the majority of green and dry beans to North America and Europe. Canadians are one of the top ten consumers of coffee in the world.
During the harvest (cosecha) time from November-February thousands of migrant workers from Nicaragua move from farm to farm earning seasonal income based on the amount of coffee they can pick in a day. Accommodation and food is provided by farm owners, but conditions are very physically demanding.
In order to maximize income it is common for children to pick with their parents, especially since the harvest is during the school holiday period (early December-early February). However, through the efforts of various international child rights organizations and some corporate social responsibility initiatives in Nicaragua, attention is being paid to reducing the risk to children.
The production of coffee involves large amounts of financial investment in machinery, equipment, labor, and delivery and is subject annually to climate change, agricultural disease, fluctuating international market prices, and competitive employment conditions and wages.
In a cost-sharing agreement with El Recreo Coffee Estates Inc, Compañeros is initiating two projects in 2015 to improve the conditions of educational facilities for children on two farms in the department of Jinotega. This initiative intentionally provokes participants to learn and reflect on complicated issues such as local and global culture, the ethics of supply and demand, and the role of business and government.
Participants will work with a skilled foreman to lay a cement floor and sidewalk, construct three toilet rooms, install windows, make portable room dividers, paint walls, create a large road-facing mural, and enhance an infant care room and pre-school located on two coffee farms. Participants will also observe Rainforest Alliance principles in action.
- To improve the infrastructure conditions of educational facilities at the Zaragoza and El Recreo coffee farms.
- To work collaboratively with a private coffee producer to inform and inspire attention to local and global issues.
- Improved appearance, access and use of classroom and toilet facilities for children of coffee workers.
- Increased cooperation and capacity-building of individuals and organizations.
- First-hand insight gained by participants into complex ethical, economic, and environmental issues.
Compañeros Participants > Learn More www.companeros.ca and its social media sites
Soppexcaa Coffee Cooperative http://www.soppexcca.org/en/jinotega.html
El Recreo Coffee Estates http://www.elrecreoestatecoffee.com/
Coffee Association of Canada http://www.coffeeassoc.com/coffeeincanada.htm
Incredible Facts about Coffee http://www.businessinsider.com/facts-about-the-coffee-industry-2011-11?op=1