Coffee Kids: Voice from the Field

Nov 18, 2009
Coffee Kids is a nonprofit dedicated to helping coffee-farming families improve their quality of life. We work with families in coffee-farming communities to create and implement programs in microcredit, education, health awareness and food security. These programs help families improve their quality of life and withstand price fluctuations in the global coffee market. Special thanks to the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation for allowing us to share our work on this blog.

We recently visited with Jose (Chepe) Xalix Morales, a proud participant in a Coffee Kids-supported literacy and education program managed by the Association for the Sustainable Development of Paraxaj (ADESPA) near the town of Acatenango, Guatemala. We arrived at his house just as the sun was beginning to set. He welcomed us and offered us seats while fiddling with the knobs on his radio.

Chepes wife placed a small lantern on the table alongside a set of well-worn pens and a workbook. She said that Chepe and their son go through a lot of pens doing their homework together.

This year, ADESPA began offering radio-based education to adults in the communities they serve. Students listen to listen to hour lessons five days a week and meet with a teacher once a week to clarify doubts and take tests.

I really like this system of learning by radio because it works with my schedule, Chepe said. I learned basic reading and writing when I was a child, but only had two years of school. I had to leave my studies because the school was too far away and my family was very poor. We all had to work to survive.

Chepe was born on Finca Santa Felisa in Paraxaj and still lives there in a humble one-room home with his family. By 7 a.m. each day, Chepe is at work in the coffee fields of the finca. After work, he spends time tending to his small parcel of corn and cares for his cow before evening classes begin.

My wife was able to finish her primary schooling when she was a child and shes very surprised, Chepe said. She says that I know more than her and Im just barely at the fourth grade level.

Coffee Kids supports 24 projects in five coffee-growing countries. For more information on all of our projects, please visit the program page on our Web site. Coffee Kids is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. To contribute to our mission, please visit http://www.coffeekids.org/donate

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