Corina de Jesús Ramírez
I moved from my hometown San Jose de Cusmapa to the city of San Juan de Rio Coco, Nicaragua, with the goal of searching for a better life in 1993. In the beginning, I worked in a disorganized way. I sold coffee in the street, with a crop of less than 90-180 kilos of coffee from .7 hectares, or 1.74 acres, of coffee plantings. The farm saw a 70 percent loss of plants and a huge incidence of pests and disease. At that time, prices were low, and we couldnt count on credit to improve the plantation.
I decided to organize with the cooperative Reynerio Tijerino in 2004 with the idea of accessing credit, better prices and technical assistance for improving not just the quantity, but also the quality of production on my farm.
Now I live in the community of Samarkanda within the municipality of San Juan de Rio Coco with a family of four: me, my husband and my two sons. Thanks to them, Ive succeeded in moving forward. I have one hectare of coffee plantings, which are Fair Trade certified and categorized as organic by Biolatina. The land produces an average of 720-900 kilos of unmilled coffee. The plantation has been improved by the rejuvenation and replanting of coffee plants. The incidence of pests and diseases has decreased as a result of training and technical outreach on production units, conducted by the Union of Multifunctional Cooperatives production Company of Organic Coffee (UCPCO) and now with the support of Heifer. In addition, I can rely on inputs and materials for the proper management of the coffee, from the harvest of the bean to the cultivation of the coffee.
Support received through UCPCO RL includes, training, technical assistance, double certification organic and fair trade, support of the project, sales (better prices) and credit and financing for improvement to the farm.
Thanks to the excellent work that UCPCO has performed, we were able to propose a project with Heifer. Thanks to God, the proposal was approved. This project attempts to resolve the nutrition problems on the farms of the poorest families. It will help them move from cultivating just coffee to growing vegetables, basic grains and fruits; raising pigs and poultry; and improving water quality. The project will provide us with materials for the construction of small aqueducts for better quality and management of water. In addition, well be able to manage each of these items so that the training workshops will be a great help to us.
Something very important in the projects is the desire to share with others the little that the Lord has given us, through Passing on the Gift. It wont just be us as members of the cooperative who will have the right to participate in the project, but also other families who are interested.
At this time Im working on the creation of a pig operation and on preparing a henhouse, to receive hens in the next distribution.
Heifers support will allow funding for our future plans:
- Renovations and replanting of production unit
- Expansion of the home
- Improvement of water collection system
- Housing for pigs and chickens
- Establishment of family kitchen gardens
- Construction of wet processing infrastructure
- Technical management of the facets thanks to trainings and technical assistance
- Fill at least 90 percent of the homes basic needs
- Exchange learning with other families within and outside of the town.