We have been working with Finca La Candelaria in Guatemala since 2014 to improve the conditions for farmworkers.
One of the main challenges, discovered during our audits, was the situation of children of seasonal workers. In Guatemala the coffee harvest coincides with school holidays and entire families migrate to coffee producing regions to find employment. Children accompany their parents to the farm or are left in the housing facilities – both undesirable situations for the children.
We wanted to create an option for children to join their parents at the coffee farm, but at the same time take part in schooling, by creating a summer school.
We put La Candelaria into contact with FunCafé, a local NGO closely related to ANACAFE (the national coffee organisation in Guatemala). We agreed to purchase an increased amount of coffee to support the setup of the summer school — and in 2017 the first-ever summer school was launched.
The project included a workshop for the parents, explaining to them the importance of education. In 2017, twenty children participated in the summer school, and the plan is to double this in the following year.
Other improvements implemented at the farm, after attention was drawn to them during audits, were improved sanitary facilities and showers, and the creation of a shade area where workers can rest and eat during their breaks.