Trip to Honduras and El Salvador

A group of young Europeans went to visit two southamerican countries in October 2017. The coffee industry in Honduras and El Salvador developped quite remarkably regarding agricultural and production methods. These countries are on their way to become important commercial partners on the global market and have the chance even to improve their own living, educational and working conditions. To get a better idea of the actual situation of the coffee cooperatives and to analyse and discuss possibilities of cooperation and support a small group visited some of these cooperatives.
This article:
Created: 
22.11.2017 / 10 Uhr
Text: 
Starkmacher, Foto: Matteo Mabilia

Mobility vs. illiteracy

First stop of the trip was in Zacatecoluca, the capital of the La Paz region of El Salvador with 70.000 inhabitans. Most of them did never leave their country and so the first topic of the dialogue with the four Italians and two Germans was their international mobility and the economical independance that allows them to travel. 21% of the population is illiterate and so education seems to be the biggest challenge in order to improve long term chances for work and a better life.

Visit to a coffee cooperative in Honduras

For the second part of the journey the group travelled to the cooperative "Las Capucas" in Honduras. It was founded in 1999 with 20 members and now has more than 800 producers.

Las Capucas gives a technical support to the members, in order to consciously improve their production and promotes sustainability and biodiversity development. In fact it does not only depend on coffee: It makes money lending to its members and has activated an entire school cycle (6-18 years) and contains the UNAH Virtual University for 40 students. It even runs a free mid-service center from Monday to Friday for vaccination and inspection visits.

Finally it gives a Fairtrade reward for traceability and fair trade.

Sustainable agricultural working methods

The cooperative plays the important role of production. There is a greenhouse of plants of coffee,
maracuja, tomato and a greenhouse of ornamental plants. Honey is also produced.

In addition, an annual internal competition is organized between members. It's a big event that
motivates manufacturers since it can be the start for a new export and new buyers. It is also
considered a holiday and aggregation moment for the community.

The trip was important to get to know more about life and work of the coffee planters and understand, how to support each other.