The Leveron family lives on a small coffee farm in Ocotepeque, Honduras, part of the Trifinio region in Central America, the tri-border area of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In the Trifinio, the main agricultural activity is coffee farming. For Kevin, Olvin, Maritza, Mabel and Eliezer, coffee has always been part of their family history, starting way back with their grandfather in the early 1980’s. At a very young age, Kevin and his four younger siblings would play between the coffee plants while their mother María picked coffee cherries.
Our story starts when Kevin, a 13-year-old shy boy with enormous dreams, plants his first few coffee seedlings. Kevin was always very curious and wanted to grow coffee plants since a very early age. “Seeing my coffee plants grow made me want to continue with my family’s legacy in coffee. I wanted to finish school so I could help my parents, but because of financial struggles, I dropped out of school at the age of 15.”
Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) has been a key implementer of programs in Trifinio over the past 10 years and continues to work in the region with and increasing focus on young adults. In 2015, when HRNS began a pilot program as part of its Youth Initiative in a neighboring community, Kevin and his family decided to take this opportunity without knowing that this would change their life completely.
Kevin started attending meetings and workshops promoted by HRNS that helped him develop the skills and confidence needed to begin his journey. Through these experiences and seeing firsthand the benefits and impacts of the program, Kevin involved his sisters, brothers and other members of his community.
As part of the HRNS’ Youth Initiative, the coffee cooperative UNIOCAFE increasingly recognized the importance of developing opportunities for youth in the region. Their main goal is to strengthen active participation of youth in the coffee value chain. Thanks to the supportive environment, Kevin and his siblings received training in coffee cupping, business administration and coffee quality.
Using this knowledge and newly developed skill sets, together they created their own coffee brand KEOLMANS Coffee and established a demonstration plot with three different varieties.
Throughout the years, the Leveron Family have experienced great opportunities in working with coffee. Kevin and his siblings continue to be youth pioneers, promoting innovative farming and business practices. Together, they are an example to other youth in their community. “Work hard and you can achieve great things. This is just the beginning” they say.
Giving youth perspectives in their community
Through our youth – centered programs we focus on young farmers as part of a holistic approach that aims to create inclusive and thriving coffee communities. We support youth to develop self – confidence and leadership skills and to acquire knowledge that allows them to make informed decisions about their future. This includes training on entrepreneurship, farm management, and innovative climate smart agricultural practices. Our vision thereby is to counteract the trend to migration, guiding youth towards existing opportunities within their communities both in and outside the coffee value chain.
Through our programs we partner with municipalities, private businesses and farmer organizations and inspire them to continue and grow their collaboration with the next generation.
“If it weren’t for HRNS, my story would be very different. Today, I am part of the board of directors of UNIOCAFE and share my family’s story as a youth facilitator to involve youth in the coffee value chain.
Many argue that there are no opportunities. To that I say: There are, you just have to look and be willing to work hard to take advantage of them”.
– Kevin Leveron
Farm Las Pozas
- Extension size: 2 hectares
- Location: Located in the western department of Honduras, Ocotepeque, the farm is made up of temporary shade and banana trees that are planted between the coffee plants.
- Varieties: Parainema, Bourbon, Catuai, Lempira and Ihcafé 90
In partnership with Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, an On Farm Field Technology Trial was established with World Coffee Research where 3 varieties and different agricultural smart practices are being tested.
About the Coffee
- Wet Mill Process
- Good harvesting practices contribute to overall coffee quality. The process continues at the Leveron Family’s wet mill where coffee was depulped and places in fermentation tanks.
- Fermentation Process: the fermentation process took place for 14 hours
- Washing Process and Classification: After the fermentation process was complete, coffee beans were washed and classified.
- Drying: after selecting the best coffee beans, the coffee was placed in solar dryers for 19 days, making sure the drying process was homogenous.