More than 100 youth (including 60 women) from Western Honduras gathered in November to unleash their potentials and discover new opportunities within the coffee value chain. They meet in the heart of the coffee growing region of Central America, in the small town of Copán, Honduras for three days. Coffee Camp, the multi–stakeholder initiative led by Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), captivated the attention of many within the coffee sector, bringing together local institutions and the coffee community to guide youth in developing a network of young entrepreneurs.
This year’s Coffee Camp, was made possible with the support from The Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE), SMIT&DORLAS, Crypto Baristas, Plan Trifinio, ONU Mujeres, Cooperación Española, ONG Cesal, Becamo, WEE project from USAID-Rainforest Alliance-IWCA Honduras, Peet’s Coffee, Corporación Municipal Mercedes Ocotepeque, Mancomunidad de Municipios Valle de Sensenti, UNIOCASMO, UNIOCAFE, Municipalidad de San Marcos de Ocotepeque, COCAMOL, La Herradura, ODECO, CAFESMO, PROMECAFE, ARUCO, San Isidro, El Aguaje, and the coffee shops (Galeano, Kawiil, Cafetos, COPRANIL, Mi tazita), working together to inspire youth to uncover new possibilities beyond the farm and look within themselves to discover their potential.
Coffee Camp is a space where youth can stand out and become a part of the coffee community. They are encouraged to learn more about the different aspects that make up the coffee global value chain such as: climate-smart agriculture, processing, roasting, marketing, and trade. Even though most of the youth’s experience comes from working on the farm, they are interested in learning more about other areas of work to diversifying their income streams. Coffee Camp is the perfect place to discover new areas of interest, capabilities and opportunities!
Youth participated in 10 learning stations led by passionate baristas, coffee shop owners, farmers, farmer organizations, and coffee traders, which opened a whole new world of exploration, training opportunities, and learning about the global coffee value chain. Some of the topics explored include; climate pioneers, technological innovation, roasting, cupping, barista skills, coffee quality and digital marketing.
In addition, youth learned about climate change adaptation by taking part in field days, where coffee farms with climate-smart practices were visited. They also participated in a dynamic entrepreneurship fair where they shared and discovered new innovative coffee businesses established by youth from the region.
“As youth gather from across Western Honduras for one same purpose: unleash their potential and discover different areas of opportunity throughout the coffee value chain, urban and rural youth are being linked and becoming one same community”, says Pablo Ruiz, Executive Director of HRNS in Central America. “We are striving to create opportunities and professional perspectives for and with youth in coffee regions”, he adds.
“This experience transformed the way I looked at the opportunities at hand for youth my age. I look forward to learning even more about climate-smart agriculture and coffee value addition specifically so I can become a change agent in my community”, said Kenny Perdomo, 22-year-old participant. “I then want to put everything into practice and share this knowledge with other youth”.
HRNS’s programs go beyond coffee. With the potentials of the young generation in coffee regions not being cared for, it is our goal to release the potentials of the young generations to shape rural areas of the future.
About Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS)
Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) is an independent foundation working with smallholder families in coffee regions and youth in Germany. We believe that only strong future generations around the globe can shape a liveable world.
HRNS is implementing projects in seven countries worldwide focusing on the livelihood situation of smallholder families with a holistic approach in the areas of youth, climate change, family business, organizational development, and gender. This contributes to prospering smallholder families, strong future generations, employment and employability, attractive rural communities and landscapes worth living in.
We see youth as drivers of change globally and in Germany. Since its foundation in 2005, HRNS reached more than 330.000 smallholder families in 18 countries. In Germany HRNS is supporting more then 20 organizations focusing on the integration of migrated youth.