Las Chicharras - School Project

News from Mexico...

The idea of this project came about during our visit to Mexico in 2016, when we had the chance to meet with E-Café, a company with its own charity branch based in Chiapas. Furthermore, E-Café is part of an NGO called Itchthus World which runs a boarding school in Comitán. The boarding school is visited by disadvantaged children, most of them being children of coffee farmers. Almost 90% of their graduates visit colleague afterwards (for comparison: less than 45% of children in Mexico finish high school). Prior to buying its own farm, E-Café was focused on supporting small-scale farmers from the region by providing education, improving healthcare and quality of life and trying to improve the overall quality of coffee. In order to work hard on the latter, E-Café bought the farm Las Chicharras. This farm cultivates different varieties, shares its experience with neighboring farms and was even able to get 5th place at the Cup of Excellence in 2018 with a cupping score of 89.40!

Unfortunately however, many of the seasonal workers, the pickers, travel to the regions where they work with their entire family. In this case, the farm where they work lies in mountains of Jaltenago, and the next city is very difficult to reach making visiting a school for their children impossible. Together with E-Café we decided to do something and started a project, building a classroom for these kids on the farm. The first container of Las Chicharras was bought in February 2016 and arrived in Germany a couple of weeks later. This purchase was combined with a donation in order to kick start the construction of the classroom which was completed in 2017. It was the same year in which the first kids were able to visit the classroom for the first time. The donation did not only include the construction of the classroom but also providing for the materials needed to teach the kids (pens, books, posters and more). The staff consisted of voluntary workers from the Itchthus World NGO.

It was also in 2017 when we were able to buy our second container and therefore make two donations for the Las Chicharras project. These two donations were mainly used to buy school supplies. In 2018 we again bought two containers. However, due to heavy rainfalls the classroom was damaged and school could not take place during that picking season. The people working at Las Chicharras were able to find a solution to host the kids in a different building in order to provide the same level of education as the years before. Finally, we are currently at 3 containers which not only provided enough funds to repair the damage on the main building and employ a full time teacher but also to start construction on a new classroom which should be finished by November 2019.

Find more information about Las Chicharras also here.

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