Posted by Keara Farrelly
It all started with a regular coffee tour. Anthony Troche, the Region IV Director of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, facilitated a travel abroad experience with students from the National Spanish Honors Society in the summer of 2017. Immersing themselves in Guatemalan culture, improving their Spanish skills, and learning about life in Central America, the students found themselves on a coffee tour with De la Gente as one of their many activities.
The students, since they were such a big group, split into two tours. Students joined Froilan Minas and Daniel Gonzalez on a hike up the Volcán de Agua to learn about coffee farming firsthand from two very experienced farmers.
After being amazed at the beautiful views and the meticulous care and pride the farmers have for their coffee plantations, the student groups returned to the farmer’s homes to learn about coffee processing post-harvest. It was there where the students noticed the farmers had bicycle-powered depulpers. They asked the farmers about the process of depulping their coffee after a long day of harvesting. Froilan and Daniel responded by saying they would spend a few hours each night after harvesting having to depulp their coffee the same day. It was then that the students promised to find a way to support these farmers.
The students took this drive and serious work-ethic back with them to the United States. They banded together to create “Proyecto Pulpero.” They created a video to share the story of Froilan and Daniel and to encourage all chapters of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica across the US to fundraise so they could purchase electric depulpers for these deserving farmers!
After raising an astounding $3,073.00 and entrusting De la Gente with the funds to purchase the depulpers, we employed Wilker Lopez, a coffee farmer in the San Miguel Cooperative and a very skilled mechanic, to build three depulpers for Froilan, Daniel, and Mercedes Perez, the remaining three farmers in the San Miguel Cooperative without electric depulpers.
The depulpers were constructed and delivered to the farmers homes in May 2018! The farmers are so grateful to the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica because now, after long days of harvesting coffee, they can depulp their coffee fruit with their electric depulpers, saving hours each day and a lot of energy.
Daniel, Froilan, and Mercedes, along with De la Gente are extremely grateful to the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica for supporting hardworking coffee farmers and turning a simple idea into a life-changing contribution!
Daniel Gonzalez says:
“It’s not common that a visitor who ways they are going to help, actually does”
PS. Now the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica is raising funds to support La Segunda Generación (the youth group) in San Miguel Escobar so that we can open a micro-loan fund for them to purchase coffee farming land! And it all started with a regular coffee tour…