Beans for Books
This program is designed to support educational projects in the remote villages of coffee growing communities worldwide where severe poverty creates illiteracy. This program began in 1999 and has been instrumental in supporting large projects such as building libraries as well as small projects such as supplying school books, school supplies, and desks.
Fundraising groups in the USA and Canada have used the Beans for Books Program to raise money and awareness to fight illiteracy - one book and one library at a time.
If you have a group interested in fundraising and supporting a Beans for Books Educational Project with the Cafe Femenino Foundation please contact us at email@example.com.
In the village of Santiago, Atitlan, Guatemala, growing great coffee is not only helping the farmers to improve the quality of their lives, through premiums for the coffee, it is now helping to repair their children's school and provide books for the school.
The Mayan Indian growers of Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, are proud of their heritage, and for producing Guatemala's finest certified organic specialty coffee. They are also proud that now, through their hard work, they will also be able to repair their children's school and its' latrines, and eventually be able to open a library in the school to supply textbooks for their children.
It is estimated that 90% of the rural population of Guatemala is illiterate. This is the highest illiteracy rate among women in the western hemisphere. ChildAid, a nonprofit organization that has been working in the Mayan communities of Guatemala since 1993, has met with the Santiago coffee growers and have estimated the costs for materials to repair the school and latrines at $3,000.00. The growers have committed to doing the repairs themselves. The repairs will be the first step, so the children can safely use the school. Then we can next begin the library with a cost of approximately another $3,000.00.
|The school latrines that are in desperate
need of repair.
|The Tzanchau School by Santiago, Atitlan needs repair, windows replaced, and text books for children.|
The Mayan natives of this community struggle to survive on a day-to-day basis; looking towards building a future is a concept that is unfamiliar to them. OPTCO has been working on this community for 10 years, and we realize that the key to improving lives and making changes toward that end must begin with education. With illiteracy at these unbelievable levels, it is urgent that more than just paying premiums to growers is necessary, if not life saving. These growers and their families need our support. They work in the hardest of conditions, hiking 2 miles up and down the mountain with 100 LB bags of coffee cherries on their backs to sell during harvest season, to bring us this wonderful coffee. They deserve our help.
The Santiago Coffees have, for the past 10 years, been helping the growers through a .10 per pound premium that is paid back directly to them to help provide pre-financing for their crops for the next year, as well as, bridging the financial cap between harvests. OPTCO has always believed that the profits need to be shared equally for the long term sustainability for any coffee project and to make sure that the growers keep producing the fine coffees we and our customers demand. But premiums for our farmers is still not enough to help them build a better future for them and their families. It must begin with education. So OPTCO is contributing a penny for every pound of Santiago Coffee you buy this year to ChildAid to help our growers accomplish their goal of repairing the school and providing a library of school books for the school and its' children.
We hope you will share this story with your customers, so they will know what their purchase of Santiago, Atitlan, Guatemalan is doing to help this community. They will appreciate this coffee so much more knowing how they are helping to improve the lives of these children and future generations of children in this coffee growing village.