Building off the results and impact from Coffee Kids projects in the Trifinio region of Central America (the border area among Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador), the program is now expanded into Western Guatemala, close to the border with Mexico. Coffee Kids is currently working with more than 100 youth across six youth groups in Huehuetenango.
This Coffee Kids Huehuetenango comes specifically from two producer associations, Civil Comercializadora Maya Alternativa (COMAL) and Unión Pequeños Productores (UPC). Both are committed to increasing the participation of youth within their organizations.
Last fall, Coffee Kids began training these young people in different ways to process coffee, including honey and natural processing techniques (as seen above). The youth are also learning about climate adaptation, from setting up demonstration plots to test and evaluate different practices, to building irrigation systems for better water management (also pictured above).
COMAL incorporates a youth group of 35 young coffee producers (20 women and 15 men) and UPC includes 15 (2 women and 13 men).
Coffee Kids, a program of Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), partnered with UPC and COMAL to offer capacity building to their youth members, and InterAmerican Coffee has collaborated with Coffee Kids to source this coffee from two organizations that invest heavily in the up-and-coming generation of young farmers. This year, InterAmerican will donate $25,000 in support of Coffee Kids projects. The goal of Coffee Kids is to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit in young farmers, to encourage them to believe in themselves, and to ensure better livelihoods for themselves and their families. The program combines training, mentoring, and financing. Since 2015, it has reached more than 550 youth from Trifinio, Western Guatemala, Tanzania, and Colombia and helped make possible more than 170 youth-run local businesses.
The young producers in the program recognize the economic opportunity of pursuing coffee growth. And Coffee Kids and InterAmerican believe that if we can support the creativity, innovation and passion of these young people, we’ll have the capacity to adapt to the challenges facing this industry that we love.