Here’s Why Agros International is Important to us
(and why you should care too!)
The largest satisfaction we get is that we are benefiting the world community every time we sell coffee. We (or anyone, for that matter) can use phrases like ‘coffee with a conscience’ or even ‘gourmet free trade coffee,’ but what does that really mean? How do we, as mission based business, actually help the world community? Below is a story that summarizes the difference you are making with your daily cup of coffee.
Story of Mario Sevilla Aduana Dos
Before December, Mario used to cause problems at the community meetings. He fought with his neighbors. He was skeptical about what the new Agros International staff members were proposing they do with the new plantain crops. Agros agronomists recommended planting other types of fruits and vegetables around the bases of the plantains to help maintain the humidity in the ground while diversifying their crops. But Mario, along with many other community members had serious doubts. Going against his better judgment, Mario decided to follow the advice of the agronomist. He planted beans, squash, papaya and watermelon. During a recent visit from US staff, Mario had the opportunity to proudly present the beans he was harvesting for his family to eat and the giant squash ready to be picked and sold. To date Mario had sold about 1000 córdobas (appx. $62) of squash to his neighbors alone. Considering the normal wage for a day laborer in Nicaragua is approximately 25 córdobas per day, Mario has been making a substantial profit on the squash alone. As the US staff members examined the ground around the base of the plantains, they saw it was still humid, while the neighboring plot (which did not have other crops planted around the plantains) was already dry. This is a critical factor in the Agros International village, Aduana Dos, which receives minimal rainfall throughout the year and is dependent on irrigation to maintain their crops. As a result, gas-powered irrigation pumps are necessary to water crops but is yet another hefty expense for the families. Mario proudly informed us that he was able to buy his own gasoline with the cash he made off the squash and no longer was forced to take a loan to irrigate. Rosalio, a neighbor of Mario’s, chose not to plant other crops around his plantains. At the end of the staff visit, however, he enthusiastically informed them that he too now planned on planting squash and beans after witnessing the great success of his neighbor. Not only has Mario grown a variety of vegetables and fruits to feed his wife and five children, he has experienced an important shift in his attitude towards learning new things and has become an active participating member in the community.
You are making a difference . . .
By purchasing your coffee through Camano Island Coffee Roasters, you are enabling farmers to work their way out of poverty. Join us as we make a difference – start now by getting your first pound free.