CHIAPAS, MEXICO– After much hard work, something incredible is taking root across Maya Vinic Coffee Cooperative farms. The Farmer Fields Schools project, which begins its second year this month, is helping coffee farmers in southern Mexico think critically about what it means to grow sustainable coffee.
While the program is led by Chiapan agronomists Angelica and Pablo and aided by professors from the local scientific research college ECOSUR, our Farmer Field Schools are powered by the students. These “technicos” bring the passion, curiosity, and ingenuity for improving their coffee crops which makes the project possible.
Last year, instructors worked with technicos from over a dozen communities to learn organic methods to prevent La Roya, a coffee plant fungus which has devastated crops across Latina America. With these organic practices also come healthier plants and increased yields, something which will create more revenue for communities to reinvest into sustainable development needs. Needs like clean water, health care and education. Its all part of a virtuous circle which begins with coffee.
This coming year, the project will tackle even bigger challenges. Challenges like how a handful of motivated farmers can best empower their communities and encourage them to adopt new practices.
But we know our astronomy team is up to the task of guiding and supporting the technicos along the way! We hope you’ll follow along as this project continues to grow and develop!
The project is being supported by old friends and new allies, all of whom are committed to supporting coffee farming communities break the cycle of unsustainability and poverty. If you’d like to support this effort and create life-changing impacts in the lives of indigenous Maya coffee farming families, please consider making a gift today. Thank you in advance for your generosity!