You may have noticed that we are currently out of Las Diosas coffee. This is super unfortunate considering it has been a staple of ours since 2006 or so. It is also indicative of the crisis that they are facing– the loss of a large percentage of their coffee to Coffee Rust or “La Roya” as it is known is Spanish. We will be receiving more Diosas coffee later in the year, most likely in the early to mid-summer. It will once again be a smaller yield — even smaller than than the previous year’s supply.
Las Diosas is still struggling to replant and recover. They have identified new coffee strains that are more resistant to Roya and they are working to get these new plants in the ground. They also are attempting to diversify away from a strict dependence on coffee as their sole cash crop. All this said, they have an uphill battle to come back from this blight that has killed up to 80% of their coffee.
Last year we started Project Nica with our partners at On The Ground. The project is our response to a $200,000 proposal that Las Diosas and their partner organization FEM approached us with. In 2014 we were able to raise roughly 10% of that and– even though we are extremely proud of that– it only scratched the surface of what they need.
2015 has been difficult thus far in terms of raising funds for Project Nica. They recently sent us a request for $2500 to pay for a technical advisor who can help them plant the new coffee seedlings and teach the women the best techniques to make them strong. At this point we have only raised a few hundred dollars and the clock is ticking.
In August we will work with On The Ground to take a “delegation” of people to visit Las Diosas and FEM in their communities in Nicaragua. The trip will be similar to trips Just Coffee Co-op has led in the past, but there will be a fundraising twist to this one. While we always appreciate and promote the idea of education and experience for their own sake, we will make the focus of this trip the development of partners for Diosas who will take the lead on raising funds and awareness in their own communities. Details will follow soon.
If you can help today please consider donating to Project Nica. On The Ground is a non-profit and can provide you with tax-deductible receipts for your records. Please remember that every little bit counts. Thanks for all of your support!