While studying agricultural topics in his high school, Cesar took the opportunity to join the Youth initiative. “Ever since I was young, I used to dream of who I would become and the goals I might reach,” he explains. “Here in Comayagua, I knew that coffee was my future”. He jumped at the opportunity.
With classes held at Coffee Quality Competence Centers like the one in the municipality of La Libertad, as well as remotely, the 80-hour training program teaches coffee knowledge and entrepreneurship. An on-site plant nursery and a solar dryer allows for hands-on lessons about cultivation and harvesting. A designated preparation area allows students to learn about coffee properties, extraction methods, roasting, grinding and cup tasting.
A holistic approach to farming sees the students schooled in running a modern business. Alongside lessons in agricultural practices, harvesting and crop care, they learn about engineering techniques, methods for improving coffee quality and computer skills.
“One of our best modules was about motivation and perseverance,” says Cesar. “That really resonated, because we were all balancing the stresses of home and school. We had excellent talks about leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It was incredible to feel the support of people who did not ask for anything in return."