Los Frutos del Café 2007 Review2007 was an incredible year for Los Frutos del Café. It is amazing to think to that our little charity is already in its ninth year. It all started back in November of 1998, when Hurricane Mitch devastated our community in Nicaragua. This organization has its roots in the living room of our family’s home, when it became a collection centre of donations for families in Nicaragua that had lost their land, their homes and any possessions. We collected clothing, blankets, food, medications, anything you could imagine; we filled a container and shipped it through the Red Cross to Nicaragua. In those first few years, our organization focused its work on helping the victims of Hurricane Mitch rebuild their lives. Then on September 23, 2000 we officially incorporated LOS FRUTOS DEL CAFÉ INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT. Since then our focus shifted from “rebuilding” to “developing” a community. Primarily, our projects’ objectives have been to encourage the education of children in these communities. Every one of our projects, from the smallest to the biggest, has a goal, to help in some way, the children of these communities to have access to good health, education and the opportunity for a better future.
Our projects for 2007 began with our trip to Nicaragua, back in March, where we visited schools and met with teachers and parents in the community. The project, PLANTING FOR A TOMORROW,got off to a good start and found great reception with the parents and teachers. At last count, we have 30,000 seedlings that the student and parent community planted and will be available for sale this May 2008. As you know the objective of this project was to educate the children in the environmental conservation of their mountains through reforestation, coffee cultivation, and sustainable agriculture, as well as raising further funds for the schools through the seedlings’ sale. In 2007 we also completed one more dining room in the community of El Castillo. We distributed school supplies, teaching supplies, and reading books to the schools of El Pegador, El Castillo, El Cipian, Las Sabanas, and Barrios Unidos (in Somoto). We also delivered soccer uniforms to the students of El Cipian, El Castillo, El Pegador, and Las Sabanas. The soccer uniforms scored a huge goal among the children; we hope to support more sports in the coming year.
In 2007 our efforts also geared towards the construction of a preschool in the town of Somoto. The very poor neighbourhood of Barrios Unidos lacked a preschool. This meant that children of the ages 3-6 years old didn’t have a place to attend school, and get their feet on the first step of the education ladder. But thanks to your donations, the efforts of coffee growers and Canadian roasters, our biggest project yet, could finally become a reality. A dream for 45 children turned into a reality for 75 preschoolers. The construction for our school began in late November 2007 and this February it will open its door to 75 children. Thanks to a great community effort, we were able to build 50% more than originally planned; a play area and a fence around the school were built without going over budget.
Please check our website for a full set of pictures coming in the next few weeks. Also, this coming April we will hold a reception for Los Frutos del Café at a local venue to celebrate our success and keep you informed on what is to come; details will be posted on our website.