As you have likely learned by now, this year we focused our donation efforts on empowering Maritza, a 19-year-old coffee farmer from the Trifinio region in South America. If this is your first introduction to Maritza, we recommend starting with the blog posts below:
Through the resources, support and entrepreneurial trainings provided by UNIOCAFÉ (a local Coffee Kids partner organization in Ocotepeque, Honduras) Maritza and her siblings launched their very own coffee brand – Keolmas Coffee! Like most small business owners, they’re navigating the ups and downs that come with running a business.
One of the biggest challenges they’ve faced so far is maintaining positive customer relationships, even when things go wrong. In an interview with Maritza, she said, “Sometimes the coffee doesn’t turn out like you wanted and clients get upset. You have to find a way to not offend them, but calmly explain to them the reason.” Maritza said that working as a team and listening to others’ opinions have been two of the most valuable learnings so far.
Although Keolmas Coffee is a family business for now, Maritza has big dreams for what her farm and coffee business can do. Right now, they’re going through the process of registering Keolmas Coffee with government regulations that will allow them to sell the coffee internationally (as opposed to just in their area). How cool is that?!
Additionally, Maritza hopes to someday grow Kelomas Coffee to a point where they can provide jobs to other youth in the area. She said that one of the most rewarding things that’s come from her involvement in the UNIOCAFE youth committee is being able to teach and motivate other program youth. Coffee is a main resource in the Trifinio region, and Maritza’s goal is to continue using what she’s learned to get others excited about the value chain.
Learn more about Maritza’s story in our exclusive video below. We can’t wait to see all she continues to do!
*Video Credit to Coffee Kids, a program of Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung