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Bringing Clean Water To Nicaragua: Petronilo’s Story

Bringing Clean Water to Nicaragua

Access to clean water is the biggest problem we have in Nicaragua, Petronilo Lopez Diaz, the San Jose President says frankly. In Nicaragua we have to bring clean water from a long way away and there are only three water points in the community for 29 families.

Difficulty with access to water isn’t the only issue. “When we tested the water we learned that the water we drink is contaminated,” he adds. And although Agros health staff taught Petronilo and the community how to purify the water with chlorine tablets available from the Ministry of Health, it has been an uphill battle for the majority of the families to implement this practice. In the beginning, every change is difficult, he says. Some say: “I have never drank water with chlorine, [the chlorine] makes the water taste different.”

Petronilo’s wife, Franseca, was among the skeptics in the beginning, but now stands firm. “I demand that [my family] drink the chlorinated water,” she says. “I have seen the difference [it makes]. In other families [where they don’t chlorinate the water], their children are sick with diarrhea and vomit much more, she says. I tell [other moms] that they need to chlorinate the water.”

“I feel grateful; grateful to God and grateful to Agros International because they supported us,” Petronilo says. “Today my life is very different. [Before] I didn’t think about the future, but now I do,” he concludes with a smile. Today they have clean water in Nicaragua.

As you approach the home of Petronilo and his wife, Franseca, it is easy to tell from the colorful drawings and pictures that cover their house that their family, education, and their children’s accomplishments are of the utmost importance.

It was his family and his inability to provide for their basic needs that pushed Petronilo beyond his comfort zone. [Where we were before] we lived with a lot of difficulties. Sometimes we had work and sometimes we didn’t. “We didn’t have land to cultivate,” he continues, “With the little we were able to earn I can tell you, you can’t take care of your family.”

Petronilo’s life began to change about 10 years ago when a friend of his became a member of one of Agros villages, El Eden, in northern Nicaragua. When Petronilo saw his friend’s success, he asked if there was any way he and his family could join the village too. Unfortunately for Petronilo, the village was full. But that didn’t dampen his spirits. His friend, who was the village president at the time, told Petronilo he should start his own village. He told me, “organize a new group, find 30 members and I’ll talk to the people at Agros to see if they can help you start a new [village].”

Petronilo and his family have now been in San Jose for eight years. Life in San Jose is better, but it has not been easy for Petronilo and the other families. Like Petronilo, many families brought with them their few belongings and what knowledge and experience they had. And although Petronilo had worked in agriculture his whole life, he didn’t know how to cultivate land properly.

Through the help of Agros agricultural technicians, Petronilo and the other partners have learned to take full advantage of his land. “Here, I have learned everything,” he says. “[Even] how to grow vegetables,” he adds with a broad smile. The partners have also been able to learn how to grow passion fruit and other high-value crops. These kinds of crops increase their earning potential and ability to provide for their family’s needs.

Petronilo is proud of what he and his family have accomplished. Today, he has a new purpose in life. Instead of just working to survive, he and his family are working to thrive. “I cultivate the land. I work hard [because] with God’s help I want to pay for this land so that my children can stay here and they can have this land.” To date he has paid $2,865 toward his land.

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Backyard Tilapia Farming: German and Ester’s Story

Backyard Tilapia Farming: German and Ester’s Story

For years farmers like German were forced to work for giant haciendas in the region of Piedra de Horeb in Honduras. But, German with the help of Agros found another way to provide for his family — backyard tilapia farming.

German looked to backyard tilapia farming. But in order to have a backyard tilapia fish farm you need big water tanks. With no other option but to work for the haciendas again, German began digging. German dug and dug for 6 months with nothing but a pickaxe. At times, he felt like giving up, but he was encouraged by his children and his wife, Ester. His daughter dug the first shovelful of dirt, and she knew it would give her a future because German told her it would belong to her and give her opportunity.

Now, well-organized, they’ve created their own sustainable, registered, and profitable business. They consistently supply in-demand tilapia to markets that guarantee a steady income. German calls backyard tilapia farming, “el encanto y el esfuerzo” — the enchantment and the struggle. The struggle for the back breaking work of digging each tank and the enchantment for the taste of success come harvest time. German describes their first harvest as “like a party,” that gave hope and inspiration to the community.

Using the growth from backyard tilapia farming, German and Ester have also branched out into other business opportunities. Ester now has her own corn maize that she makes and sells to her community. This diversification of income enables German and Ester to better provide for their children’s future.

Witnessing the success of Piedra’s backyard tilapia farm is an encouraging and promising glimpse at what the future can look like for all of our communities if we implement this market-driven strategy on a much larger scale in the future. Some say give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Using the Agros model we take that one step further. Teach a man to own the pond and he feeds himself, his family, and his community for generations to come.

1% of all Coffee Lovers Club subscriptions goes back to Agros to help families like German and Ester’s build a future for themselves. Thank you for making a difference with your daily cup of coffee.

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Indonesian Coffee: Escape To a Different World of Flavor

Indonesian Coffee: Escape to a Different World of Flavor

The many microclimates and different elevations in Indonesia produce coffee that is highly renowned. With a production level of 540,000 metric tons in 2014, according to the International Coffee Association, Indonesia is the 4th largest producer of coffee in the world. The coffee industry in Indonesia is largely comprised of smaller operations resulting in more than 2 million growers.

History of Coffee in Indonesia

Coffee was introduced to Indonesia by Dutch traders in Batavia. When it became obvious that coffee thrived in the climate and soil of Batavia, they expanded plantings to other areas such as West Java before continuing with plantings in Sumatra and Sulawesi. With over 1.3 million hectares in production, many people around the world pour a delicious cup of Indonesian coffee every morning.


Out of all the Indonesian islands, Sumatra is the top producer of Coffea robusta coffee beans. Sumatra grows half of all the coffee in Indonesia and ¾ of the entire production of Coffea robusta. The coffee farms of Sumatra are very small. The average holding is about a hectare, so there are many private individuals involved in the production of coffee in the region. Sumatra is also known for its unique method of processing raw coffee beans known as wet hulling. Beans are hulled, but the pulp surrounding the bean is left on for about a day. The beans are then washed and allowed to dry, but only until they reach 30% moisture. This process is completed entirely on the farm.

Camano Island Coffee Roasters offers both a medium and dark roast from Sumatra.

Flores Island

Flores Island has some very rugged terrain characterized by volcanic activity. The farms are located on the hillsides and plateaus. This area is known for being fantastic for organic coffee production due to the volcanic soils. High altitudes of up to 1,800 meters produce coffee that is known for having a unique chocolate, yet floral flavor.

Kopi Luwak

One of the rarest coffees in the world is produced in Indonesia by a very unusual method. The Asian Palm Civet eats the ripe berries that contain coffee beans. When the beans pass through the digestive track of the Civet, the outer layers of the beans are no longer there. After being washed and dried, this rare coffee sells for astronomical prices due to its unique flavor. The theory is that passing through the digestive tract removes potassium salts that affect the flavor.

Beautiful green landscape of mount volcano Agung on Bali island, Indonesia.

Supporting Small Farmers

The coffee industry is extremely important to the people of Indonesia. Coffee is grown in remote areas and provides a way for small farmers to make a good living for their families. Organically produced and fair trade coffee production ensures that farmers get paid a fair price for their labor and product. Choosing organic means you are helping promote the rights of indigenous farmers throughout Indonesia.

Unethical Coffee Hurts the Environment

Unfortunately, not all coffee is produced in a sustainable manner. Destruction of rainforest and slash and burn agricultural techniques results in habitat depletion, extinct species, and poor quality coffee. Coffee that is grown under these conditions is usually only sold as bulk coffee that shows up in cheaper blends or instant coffee. Farmers that fall victim to these systems get low prices for their coffee and deplete their land.


A lot of research has been done to improve the production of coffee in Indonesia. Since the plantations are small it can be a challenge to reach out to small farmers. The Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute is dedicated to helping farmers learn how to make the most of their land and improve fields. Their work also includes developing more disease-resistant varieties and techniques for reducing disease.

Camano Island Indonesian Blend

At Camano Island Coffee, we take the finest beans from Sumatra and Papua New Guinea and roast them to perfection to create our signature Indonesian Blend. With a taste of toasted nuts and malt, we are sure you will love this coffee and hope you will share it with your friends and family. Join our Coffee Club for the best deals on organic coffee online. All first time members qualify for a free pound of our organically produced and fairly traded coffee. Try us today and taste the difference quality practices and pride can make in your daily cup.

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Honduras: A Range Of Flavor

Honduras: A Range of Flavor

In 2011, Honduras climbed to the top of coffee production in Central America. This is no small feat considering the challenges that coffee growers have faced. While coffee has been grown here since the 1800s, the industry struggled due to export issues and political problems. A lack of good shipping methods meant that most of the coffee produced was sold as locally as possible, thus commanding a lower price.

Time Investment

A typical coffee plantation in Honduras would take four years to reach a good level of production and up to seven years before it achieves good returns. Having to invest so much time and money into a plantation before seeing a return makes it hard for many to get started. In 1984, only 10% of the coffee produced was being sold outside of Honduras, highlighting the fact that lack of access to shipping and exports was still an issue fairly recently.

Coffee Tourism

There is no doubt that Honduras is a beautiful country. Many of the coffee farms offer tours and welcome guests to see how and where their coffee is produced. The highest quality Honduran coffees are grown under the shade of trees such as bananas, which provide a secondary crop for the farmer to sell. Shade-grown coffees are renowned for having a better flavor and being lower in acids, resulting in a more pleasant experience for drinkers.

A Better Economy

Honduras has struggled with its economy throughout history. The increase in coffee production and availability of shipping has allowed it to grow to be the largest producer in Central America. This injection of money has shown with an increased standard of living for more of the working class. Tourism has increased as coffee has caused more people to become aware of Honduras and all it has to offer. Better opportunities for disadvantaged people are being created thanks to informed consumers choosing fairly traded, organic coffee from Honduras.

Taste That Is In Demand

The finest Honduran coffees are sweet and mild so they make a good cup for drinking throughout the day. The dark rich soil of the rainforest is loaded with nutrients from the naturally decaying vegetation that grows below and above the coffee. Fertilizer isn’t necessary to grow great coffee, and if it is needed, only natural fertilizer is used. This makes Honduran coffee a great choice for those that seek organically produced coffees from sustainable farms.

Camano Island Coffee Roasters Honduras Roasts

Camano Island Coffee Roasters is offering shade grown and fairly traded organic Honduran coffee beans. These beans are used in our signature dark roast, as well as our highly popular Central American Blend, which combines our best beans from the region for a blend we are sure will become a favorite in your home or business. Dark Roasted Honduran coffee beans have flavors of molasses and spice making it a great coffee for fall or winter. Lovers of chai tea will also enjoy this unique coffee. Our Central American Blend is fruity and chocolatey, so you will want to enjoy this blend any time you want to indulge.

We want everyone to be able to enjoy our wonderful coffees no matter where they live. Our coffee club offers the best coffee online with convenient shipments to your home or business. Check out our Coffee Lovers Club for details and choose the shipment size and delivery schedule that is right for you.

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Camano Island Coffee Affiliate Program is Live!

Don’t Smash that Piggy!

coffee affiliate

Earn cash with the Best Coffee in the World!

Do you have a blog? Do you use twitter or Facebook? Do you have your own website or web business?Then you should join our coffee affiliate program.

You can create a side income through your website or social media accounts, while still supporting ethical coffee.

Become a Coffee Affiliate and Earn 10% Today!

Become a Camano Island Coffee Roasters’ coffee affiliate and earn 10% commission on all sales (before shipping) generated from your site. We’ll take care of the marketing, banner ads, packaging, and fulfillment. You just concentrate on bringing more business through your site!

Full  Online Reporting at your fingertips!

Once we’ve gone through the approval process, your coffee affiliate account will be created. You’ll enjoy our online account panel that shows your coffee affiliate sales.

Payment: Camano Island Coffee Roasters will send payment quarterly. We’ll accrue your totals and you can expect payment at the end of each quarter as a coffee affiliate.

Approval: The approval process is usually pretty quick. We do ask that you give us up to 3 business days to approve your affiliate application, although it’s pretty rare that we’ll need that much time.

Once approved, you’ll receive an email with all of your account information as well as a login to the coffee affiliate control panel. The coffee affiliate control panel will give you access to graphics and your special coffee affiliate link. Then you can start selling Camano Island Coffee as a coffee affiliate.


Click this link to join: Coffee Affiliate Signup Page 

We hope to do ethical coffee business with you soon!