Our Coffee Finca in the ,,Zona de los Santos''
For us , coffee is a matter of course; it wakes you up and tastes good.
In Costa Rica, coffee has a much more important role than just being a wake-up drink.
Coffee is one of the most valuable export producers in Costa Rica, generating a high income.
Coffee cultivation thus has a great impact on the development, coexistence and peace of the Central American country. Since the beginning of exports and the influx of foreign currency, many innovations have been possible, such as the development of the banking system.
In production, coffee farmers are facing problems that are increasingly limiting them:
Consequences of climate change, but also pests or plant diseases influence the international coffee price and production. These uncertainties affect social and working conditions.
Working conditions on coffee plantations are harsh:
Long working hours, hardly any breaks, no care for children, poor housing and insufficient supply of drinking water and meals. In addition, the local conservative culture against foreigners and institutional absenteeism leads to discrimination and exclusion. Families are forced to take their children to work and to work for disproportionate wages.
The coffee activity currently benefits about 40,000 producing families in eight regions of the country. Among them is one of the most important coffee growing areas, the Zona de los Santos, which consists of the cantons of León Cortés, Dota and Tarrazú. León Cortés is divided into six districts, including the district of San Andrés, with about 1600 inhabitants.
San Andrés is a district with few training and educational opportunities for young people, which has led to social problems, poverty and crime - and increasing rural exodus.
The Los Santos region produces about 30% of the coffee exported. The local small farmers are mostly dependent on large companies/cooperatives and often feel oppressed by them.
By creating an education center in the León Cortés region, we want to counteract the local problems in coffee production by creating more future prospects for young people, offering small farmers more independence from large coffee producers, but also creating awareness for the topic and promoting sustainable and viable local development.
Our target group is the small farmers, including the coffee producers, the local population and the authorities, who are to be made aware of ecological interrelationships, sustainable and resource-conserving use of nature and fair working conditions for local workers.
In addition, the young people in San Andrés de León Cortés, who grow up without educational and future opportunities, should receive support in the educational center.
We also do not want to forget the women, especially the single mothers, the families of the small farmers, the daily wage earners and the approximately 1,500 residents of the plantations.
An educational center will be built in the region, this center will provide a safe inclusive place which is free from prejudice. There people can participate regardless of their origin, nationality, education and social level. They will be trained in different areas and, depending on their interest, they will also be prepared for a South-North volunteer exchange.
There is a wide range of training and educational opportunities.
There will also be workshops and trainings on coffee cultivation, as well as on various topics related to agricultural activity and efficiency. Coffee growers, farmers and young people / day laborers will receive further education and training on ecological and environmentally friendly circular cultivation.
Language and computer courses will also be offered, as well as workshops on administration, entrepreneurship and technical professions.Up to 40 people can receive training in the education center. Many of the beneficiaries of the project are forced to bring their children, so there will be a family room and two multifunctional rooms.
In the education center there will be monthly trainings of several days for the different target groups, e.g. on topics like efficient coffee and fruit cultivation on ecological basis, marketing and export of the own coffee.
The project is coordinated and supervised by our partnerAsociacion Visioneers Costa Rica.It is co-financed by donations, the cool thing is, the finca can soon be visited.