Generations

Location:   Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala

Generations

Project Overview

Generations is an initiative in three Central American countries, creating a space for young adults to identify their interests and develop their dreams, improving the future outlook of coffee growing communities. The program seeks to improve the local labor perspectives for over 3000 youth in coffee growing communities across the Trifinio tri-border region of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Young adults gain exposure and skills training in a broad array of employment and career opportunities within their communities.

Background

Main Goal

Empowering youth in coffee growing communities to attain better livelihood options for themselves and their families via the development of entrepreneurial and vocational skills.

70% of local income in Trifinio is generated with coffee. However, while most families rely on coffee-related activities for household earnings, limited access to extension services and resources like agricultural products and finances make it difficult for many farmers to respond and adapt to climate variability or other shocks, threatening their livelihoods. High levels of poverty and few employment opportunities are prevalent throughout Trifinio, and youth do not perceive coffee production (or agriculture in general) as a viable option to sustain themselves or their families. As a result, many of them are migrating to cities or abroad in search of better opportunities and higher paying jobs yet without the necessary skills and perspective to create a better future. As a result, they tend to end up in greater poverty, unemployed or working in the informal sector, usually under precarious conditions.

Approach

The multifaceted approach of Generations aims to counteract the trend of migration, guiding youth toward existing opportunities within their communities both in and outside the coffee value chain. Generations adopts a peer-to-peer approach to help youth identify their interests, develop individual life plans, and acquire the needed skills to achieve those life plans. In addition, the program invests into the establishment of a strong network of local partners that supports and mentors the youth throughout the entire process.

Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), SAFE and the Sustainable Food Lab published a report on the landscape of current programs and practices supporting young adults in coffee growing communities across Latin America.

Download it here.

Youth undergo four primary components over the course of one year:

Key achievements:

Through the work of HRNS in this project, we are contributing to achieving the following SDGs:

Seeing opportunities ahead and becoming a coffee entrepreneur: Osman tells his story

“I always had the dream to immigrate to the US and become a doctor. My parents are coffee farmers in the Municipality of Fraternidad, Honduras; but I never truly envisioned myself as a farmer due to the challenges I saw my parents face to ensure there was food on the table. Participating in Generations has given me a new perspective. I have learned new ways to cultivate coffee, which help us not only to increase our production but also to earn higher premiums. My dad noticed my renewed interest in coffee and he decided to give me an acre of his land, for me to test out the new practices that I learned. He wanted to see if in fact, the new practices would result in greater yields.  And they have.

Over the past two years, since joining the program, in addition to cultivating my own coffee, I have also started selling my family’s coffee. Through entrepreneurial training and support, I developed a business plan, which enabled me to launch our own coffee brand. Since then, several local coffee shops and restaurants have bought and are now serving our coffee. My hope is that one day I will see our brand in other countries, too.

For now, I will continue to expand my knowledge and gain more skills to be more competitive once my business is more established. I recently enrolled in cupping courses offered by ESCAFE (through the Instituto Hondureño del Café) to be able to really understand my own coffee quality and learn how I can improve it. Participating in Generations has truly given me the opportunity to dream big.”

Get to know Generations: