A Major Player in Coffee

Central America, the land bridge connecting North and South America, is home to seven coffee producing countries. Often referred to as part of the Bean Belt, Central America is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot and unique for its rich agriculture, mountain ranges, volcanoes, forests and micro-climates. Given its exclusive geographic features, it is no surprise that Central America makes up some of the best coffee regions in the world.

While regional factors that influence how coffee is grown in each country differ throughout Central America, one thing is for certain; common factors such as higher production costs, lower prices, limited access to coffee markets and climate change adversely impact the sustainable reality of coffee farming families. In Central America, the majority of coffee farmers are considered smallholders. In Guatemala and Honduras, smallholder farmers account for 83% and 92% of the total number of farmers in the country.

Climate change impacts continue to develop and threaten coffee cultivation. Rising temperatures and high winds created conditions for coffee rust to develop and impact coffee production across Central America in 2013. For example, in Honduras, it reduced national production by 25% between 2012-2013. To date, farmers continue to recover from the crisis even though it began 6 years ago.

Using a holistic approach to address these challenges in Central America, HRNS continues to develop and implement tailor made programs and local solutions together with coffee farming families, and farmer organizations through a collaborative approach promoting long term sustainability.

In Central America, we are currently active in Guatemala, Honduras and the Trifinio Region, a UNESCO biosphere, located in the tri-border area of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. In Guatemala, HRNS currently holds projects in Santa Rosa, Chiquimula, Chimaltenango and Huehuetenango. In Honduras, we are active in Ocotepeque, Copán, Lempira and La Paz.

Key Strategies

Our goal is for smallholder families to prosper, and for youth to be drivers of thriving communities in coffee regions. There are four components of work which HRNS considers to be decisive for improving the livelihoods of smallholder families in coffee regions: Family Businesses, Farmer Organizations, Youth and Climate Change.

Family Businesses: 

Smallholder families operating their farms as successful family businesses and thus improving their livelihoods.

Farmer Organizations:

The existence of efficient, inclusive farmer organizations that support smallholder families in coffee regions to prosper.


Young men and women taking informed decisions about their livelihoods and acting as role models in their community.

Climate Change:

Communities in coffee regions managing their farms and ecosystems in a way that makes them resilient to climate change.

We work with farming families who are disconnected from the global markets and will see the most benefit, collaborate with communities to identify needs and develop a holist approach and promote the active participation of women in youth in the family farming business and producer organization. Agronomic, technical and business skills are provided to unloch the potential of farming families.

Collaborative Partnerships

HRNS engagement in Central American programs are supported by industry partners such as Tim Hortons, International Coffee Partners (participants Tchibo, Lavazza, Paulig, Löfbergs, Franck, Joh. Johannson, Delta, Neumann Gruppe), Gaviña Gourmet Coffee, the supporters of Coffee Kids, the members of the initiative for coffee&climate, the consortium of USAID’s Feed the Future Alliance for Resilient Coffee, the Swedish Development Cooperation (SIDA), the Interamerican Development Bank, the Safe Platform, UNEX, the Trifinio Commission, the regional coffee round tables of Trifinio, Huista (Guatemala) and El Paraíso (Honduras) and the coffee institutes IHCAFÉ in Honduras and ANACAFÉ in Guatemala.

HRNS is always looking and interested in new sustained partnerships and collaborations that empower farmers and makes a real impact in their lives.

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

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.

Female farmers in Honduras adapted their farms to climate change

In gender component of coffee&climate


Since 2008, HRNS has been implementing programs in Central America where we continue to see positive outcomes.


  • Total number of beneficiaries in Central America: 20,337 farmer households
  • Total ha in coffee: 37,364 ha
  • 7,068 women are part of our projects
  • 7,250 youth (up to 35 years of age)
  • $3.7 in returns for every $1 invested (based on an independent evaluation)
  • 20% increase in coffee yields and farmer income (despite unpredictability form climate change)
  • 90% of participants report they see a brighter future working in coffee
  • 50% of participants are actively involved with local farmer associations
  • Youth and women have reported increased confidence
  • Smallholder farmers are less dependent ton middle-men

Central America Projects