It’s always great to connect with our farmer partners.
I’ve just spoken to Esperanza, the general manager of Pangoa, a co-op of about 700 farmers in the central jungle of Perú, and one of our closest partners in the biz. She updated me on some of the projects that we’ve helped initiate over the years.
A women’s loan fund that we provided the seed money for has been growing. 30 women farmers participate, borrowing small sums from the fund for infrastructure improvement, small business ventures, or emergency needs. They repay the money with a small interest rate so that the fund grows. I’m happy to hear that the fund has grown to over 20,000 Nuevos Soles (~ $7,000)!
The reforestation initiative started by an indigenous farmer with the support of Dean’s Beans and the co-op is also doing well. What started as a way to re-plant native tree-species on one farm has spread, and now the entire community has reforested. This means that the coffee there (our NoCO2 beans!) is grown in a bio-diverse ecosystem that is sequestering carbon as we speak.
Watch this video we made a while back for more info on these and other projects that we’ve worked on with Pangoa. You have to see ‘um to believe ‘um!
Another project is in the works! I had called Esperanza to discus our latest development: the implementation of a long-term English language program with the co-op. Our first intrepid Javatrekkers will start heading down to Pangoa this summer to develop the program with an eager group of co-op administrators, co-op agronomists and the children of the co-op’s farmers. We are really excited about this because it creates a connection between our customers (the English teachers) and our farm co-op partners! We hope that it will become a long-term project and one that we can implement with other co-ops as well.
Lastly, we’ve partnered with Tapestry Health of Western Massachusetts and Pangoa to offer a new coffee: the Tapestry E.C. roast (Emergency Caffeine)! Proceeds from the sales are used to promote women’s health here at home and in the co-op. To purchase the E.C. Roast, click here.
That’s all for now!
Esperanza sends her ‘abrazos’ (hugs).