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.
Mobility vs. illiteracy
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.