A Major Player in Coffee

Located in the tri-border area of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, the Trifinio region is a key coffee growing area, supporting more than 18,000 local families and accounting for 70% of family earnings. A biodiversity hotspot, the region also contains the headwaters of the three largest rivers in Central America.

For nearly a decade HRNS has been working in Trifinio.

Key strategies

Projecting the local watershed: HRNS is a key partner in implementing the Trifinio Plan, an innovative trans-national effort in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to protect the local watershed.

Supporting a shared commitment to protecting the natural environment: Well-designed coffee farms can actually protect the rainforest, smoothing the transition between agricultural areas and biologically sensitive areas while also promoting higher family incomes.

Promoting new coffee varietals and improved agricultural practices: Working to increase productivity and income for more than 4,000 farmers without the need for additional land or effort.

Collaborative partnerships

In the Trifinio region HRNS partners with the Mesa de Café Trinacional (MCT), a voluntary multi-stakeholder platform which implements a horizontal organizational structure, representing all participants in the coffee value chain, giving everyone an equal voice.
Supported by the Comision Trinacional del Plan Trifinio, local farmer organizations, national coffee institutes from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, as well as nonprofits and local exporters, the MCT facilitates cross-sector dialogue, increasing knowledge sharing and aligning efforts and resources in the region.

Projects in Central America are implemented by Fundación Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung.

Pablo Ruiz

Co-Regional Manager
Central America

Mauro Garcia

Co-Regional Manager
Central America

Some Facts About Central America


Social Return on Investment

USD-benefits for each Dollar invested (External evaluation 2018)

Bags of Coffee Sold via Farmer Organizations

In Honduras and Guatemala as part of Tim Hortons and ICP projects.

Of Farmers Apply Good Farm Management Practices

According to ICP Report 2018

Average Farm Size

in ha, June 2018


  • Despite climate change bringing greater unpredictability, coffee yields and farmers’ income in the region is up nearly 20%, dramatically improving the economic prospects of farmers and providing perspectives for the next generation.
  • When HRNS began working in Trifinio, improper soil management and excessive use of agrochemicals were endangering the region. Today, more than twice as many farmers are applying fertilizer based on soil analysis as well as using methods of integrated pest management, reducing the reliance on the indiscriminate use of fertilizer, fungicides, and insecticides.
  • Smallholder farmers are increasingly organized in business-minded farmer organizations and less dependent on middlemen, with 50% now selling their coffee through one of 52 farmer organizations, keeping profits in the community.
  • 90% of project participants say that they see a brighter future in coffee compared to before being part of the program.
  • ChispaRural.gt: emprendimiento rural de jóvenes guatemaltecos.