Flores del Café Womens Project

Our project coffee from Nicaragua...

The LAND we OWN - the COFFEE we proudly PRODUCE

Since 2002 Asociación Aldea Global (based in Jinotega & Matagalpa region) invests in women’s empowerment via micro-loans to increase entrepreneurial activities. This project called Tierra Madre, is one of many implemented by Aldea Global. The associations has currently 11,325 members (34% Women). The Number of Specialty Coffee Farmers is round about 4,863 total (998 women), with an average farm size of 5 Ha.

In Nicaragua, only 15% of women have land titles, which is key to accessing micro-credit loans for production as well as changing land tenure for future generations, permitting a better quality of life for her family. Aldea Global was the first farmers’ association in Nicaragua to certify exclusively its women’s members specialty produced coffee below the seal Con Manos de Mujer (With Women’s Hands). We offer this coffee under the brand Flores del Café adding an extra premium for a Social Fund to help women obtain legal title to their land.

Read the full story of JUANA LOURDES PINEDA, one of the farmers:

“Being a coffee producer changed my life, I have worked since my childhood, now I can say that I am a woman with all dreams fulfilled”

Juana Lourdes Pineda is a recognized coffee producer in Yankee, a community located in the department of Jinotega. She has a friendly expression that reflects her cheerful but determined personality, which she has forged through hard experiences from her childhood. However, she smiles every time she tells her life story, to prove that all obstacles can be overcome if you have a spirit of perseverance and faith to reach any goal.

She has a high sense of a family responsibility, because since she was eight years old, she had to help her mother to take care of her siblings, also helped her dad to kill pigs and cook them for food sales. From her childhood, she remembers the days when she used to carry on one of her youngest brothers in a basket, accompanying her mom to the Apanas Lake to wash their clothes.
Before being a coffee producer, Juana Lourdes looked for alternatives to be an economically independent woman. Like many of the teenagers in the rural areas, she decided to rise her family with her first boyfriend, with whom she maintained a relationship for more than 15 years. In all that time, she suffered the continuous infidelities and violence from him.

"He would beat me every time he could, he would bring his drunk friends to the house and ask me to cook for them at any time, even when I was pregnant, but I would not leave him because I loved him. I helped him to buy a piece of land and the house; I used to take care of the workers, but I did not have any voice or vote at home. One day he told me to divide the house so that he could bring another woman to live with him, that's when I told him to leave me and never come back again. I gave birth to thirteen children, seven of them died, six are alive, I looked for a thousand ways to earn some money and provide food to them. Today I am satisfied because I gave them what I could and raised them on my own" says Juana Lourdes.

Part of the odyssey of her life to raise her children as a single mother, was living in times of the 80’s Nicaraguan revolution. To mitigate the shortage of food, she participated in activities with sandinista troops, even if she risked her life for being in the middle of the confrontations, at least she guaranteed some flour, rice and sugar to bring home. Juana Lourdes remembers that she did everything to support her family, sewed clothes, cooked tamales and bread to sell, she kept up looking for the sustenance of her kids.

She had finished the third grade of elementary school, this was enough for her to decide to go to Las Minas, a neighboring community of Yankee, where she organized families with young children and offered her services as a local teacher. The community members built a small school where she taught according to her knowledge, in exchange she received USD 0.15 monthly per kid, when parents did not have money to pay her, they would gave her chicken, potatoes, carrots, rice or whatever they had available. This is how that school was founded.

Juana Lourdes decided to join Aldea Global in 2000, through a food security program where she received hens to raise and sell the eggs to a small grocery store. Later on she requested a loan to Aldea Global to buy a piece of land and start planting coffee. By that time, she had no experience in coffee, but had received training from Aldea about organic coffee production.
At the entrance to her farm, named Santa Juana, there is a sign that she proudly points out, where she says she is part of the hundreds of partners that benefit from Aldea Global and its Tierra Madre program. At 62, Juana Lourdes continues to support her sons and her daughters, advising them to manage their land and be solvent in their debts, since she believes that honesty, effort and humility are basic values for raising a family.

"From all the economic activities I did to survive, coffee is what I liked the most, I'm grateful to Aldea Global because they provided me with the training, loans, support and encouraged me to move forward, to diversify my farm to generate income and become the woman of success I am today."

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