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  • Writer's pictureWorking Capital for Community Needs

Brewing Success with Aldea Global

In the picturesque mountains of Jinotega, Nicaragua, lies the heart of Central America's coffee country. It's here that WCCN embarked with Naturally Smart Travel to uncover the undeniable impact of Aldea Global on the lives of coffee farmers like Jaime Centeno. Over the course of our study tour, we witnessed firsthand the remarkable strides made by our partner in empowering small farmers and facilitating their access to global markets. From the rolling hills of agroforestry to a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, every step of the journey revealed the unwavering commitment to community upliftment that defines Aldea Global's mission.

Growing Beans and a Community

Jaime Centeno's journey epitomizes the power of Aldea Global's support. Jaime is a seasoned coffee farmer and entrepreneur. For him, coffee farming is not just a livelihood; it's a way of life. With a wife and two children to support, Jaime's journey with Aldea Global began 13 years ago, when he took out his first loan to purchase essential supplies for his small coffee farm and expanded his farmland.

Jaime Centeno shows WCCN and supporters around his beautiful coffee farm.

Nestled amidst the tropical beauty of Jinotega, Jaime's farm feels like stepping into a verdant painting. His modest home, constructed from sturdy cinder blocks, is considered a step up from the sheet metal homes many have in Nicaragua. As we walked through the hilly fields of coffee plants, surrounded by a symphony of oropendola birds with flashy yellow tail feathers, it became clear that Jaime's story is not just about coffee; it's about community, opportunity, and the relentless pursuit of a better future.

The impact of Jaime's farm reverberates throughout the entire community. With Aldea Global's support, Jaime has transformed his small farm into a thriving enterprise, employing over 50 workers and providing vital job opportunities. Jamie also provides food and lodging for workers during harvest season. Some of his employees come from as far as Matagalpa, well over an hour drive away. Once the harvest season is over, these workers return home with the means to support their own families. Jaime told us he gets a little lonely during the quiet off season. It’s clear this farmer is passionate about his job and he’s always looking for ways to improve his operations.

At the heart of Aldea Global's mission lies a profound commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility. By harnessing the power of coffee farming as a force for positive change, Aldea Global is empowering communities and fostering economic growth across the region.

The Impact of Climate Change on Coffee Farmers

Jaime Centeno working on his farm in Jinotega.

Despite Jaime's remarkable progress, his journey is not immune to the challenges posed by climate change. This year, Jaime faced the repercussions of a late harvest, a direct result of the erratic weather patterns exacerbated by climate change. As the quality of his harvest and his profits hang in the balance, Jaime finds himself grappling with uncertainty once again.

However, amidst the looming threat of climate change, Aldea Global remains a steadfast ally in Jaime's journey. Recognizing the profound impact of climate variability on coffee production, Aldea Global has implemented proactive measures to support farmers like Jaime during uncertain times. Through access to credit and financial assistance, Aldea Global helps offset the financial strain of a less profitable harvest season, ensuring that Jaime's business can continue to grow and thrive despite the uncertainties that climate change brings.

Amidst the lush greenery of Jaime's farm, it's clear that the partnership between Jaime and Aldea Global extends far beyond the fields. Together, they navigate the challenges posed by climate change, drawing strength from their shared commitment to sustainability and resilience. In the face of adversity, Jaime's unwavering determination and Aldea Global's support serve as a beacon of hope, illuminating a path forward in the fight against climate change.

From Harvest to Cup: Tasting Sustainability

As we bid farewell to Jaime and his bustling coffee farm, our journey with Aldea Global continued, leading us to explore the next step in the coffee production pipeline —the Aldea Global coffee plant.

Diedericks Eliezer Gadea Rivera, Aldea Global's Business Manager, during our tour of the Aldea Coffee Plant.

The construction of the coffee plant, which began in 2019 and continues to expand, symbolizes Aldea Global's drive to refine operations and deliver quality coffee. Unlike before, when they shared space with other coffee companies, Aldea Global now has full control over every step of the process, ensuring consistent, high-quality coffee production. This transition has allowed them to produce an impressive 55 million pounds of coffee per year, solidifying their position as the third-largest exporter of coffee in the world.

Central to Aldea Global's success is its workforce, comprising 55 permanent employees and an additional 60 during the harvest season. These individuals play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of the plant, working tirelessly to uphold Aldea Global's commitment to excellence. Moreover, Aldea Global's workforce is a reflection of the community it serves, with a strong emphasis on empowering local talent and fostering economic growth.

Will Harris WCCN Executive Director during our coffee tasting with Aldea Global.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Aldea Global's governance structure is its board, which is operated by small farmers from the community. At the end of our tour, our study group gathered around a table for a coffee tasting. Here we were joined by Rosa Riso, the board president of Aldea Global. The organization has shattered barriers by appointing her to this prestigious position. Ten years ago, this feat would have been unheard of in Nicaragua. This groundbreaking decision not only signifies Aldea Global's commitment to inclusivity and diversity but also highlights the invaluable contributions of women in shaping the future of coffee production.

In the mountains of Jinotega, among the tropical forests and the scent of freshly brewed coffee, it's evident that Aldea Global's work is empowering small farmers, championing sustainability, and fostering gender equality. Aldea Global is paving the way for a brighter, more equitable future for all. WCCN and the supporters who joined us on our study tour were enriched by the dedication of people like Jaime and the incredible work of organizations like our partner Aldea Global. The people we met and the experiences we had during this coffee adventure inspire us to remain persistent in our pursuit of a sustainable and prosperous tomorrow.



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