Did you know that the majority of coffee in the world is produced by millions of small-scale coffee farmers? In honor of International Coffee Day, held on September 29, learn how one FINCA client in Honduras grew her small, coffee farm and gave jobs to dozens of poor local and migrant workers.
Ermelinda Paz Gutiérrez is a tiny but commanding woman who runs a coffee plantation near Santa Rosa, Honduras. The 54-year-old mother of three has been growing coffee for 28 years on her family’s farm. She became a FINCA client in 2016.
Ermelinda’s plantation requires ten permanent workers and as many as 60 seasonal employees, whom she hires for up to four months. Some of these seasonal workers come from across the border in Nicaragua. They carefully pick her coffee beans by hand.
Ermelinda says her FINCA loans are helpful for paying her employees for their work on the coffee plantation. Many of her employees have young children and their salaries help to maintain a decent livelihood for their families.
After drying the beans in the sun and packing them in burlap sacks, Ermelinda sells her coffee to local buyers at their collection center. The beans are exported to other countries, where it is roasted and processed.
Without the help of FINCA’s loans, Ermelinda would have faced difficulty employing so many workers to grow her small farm. But now her coffee can find its way to your morning cup of joe.