Aldea means village or community in Spanish. This word has become the cornerstone of how we do what we do in both the United States and in Honduras.
Aldea Development formed ten years ago in Honduras, based in a small town called La Union. A group of college students, including founders Andrew Boyd and Patrick Hughes, were ready to start a meaningful project upon graduation. While learning about microfinance they decided this would be a good way to get started. Throughout the summer of 2009, with the help of the students from the local bilingual school, they began researching and forming the foundation of what Aldea Development is today.
In the beginning, their focus was on microloans to coffee, corn and bean farmers. It wasn’t long, however, before they realized the coffee being grown in the region had more potential than payment the farmers were receiving, and so began the coffee training and importing programs. Aldea Development is comprised of a six member staff, three Hondurans and three US expats. By living in the community that they work in, they are able to learn directly from the people and effectively engage in the community development projects.
Community development has been the primary focus for Aldea from the beginning. Aldea believes in supporting communities and empowering them to achieve sustainable development together. This is done by working alongside individuals, families and villages through a variety of programs: Microfinance, community partnership projects, training and market access.
Microfinance: Microloans provide small-scale farmers the financial capacity to maximize their land and crops. These loans help farmers increase their production and income, and help them achieve economic stability and savings.
Community partnership projects: This program seeks to utilize the strengths of three different partners—Aldea Development, an aldea (village) near La Unión, and an outside organization —to work towards a common goal, and in so doing, develop long-term and sustainable change.
Training: Proper training ensures that farmers are educated in the newest and most effective ways to care for their crops. We are constantly learning so that we may advise farmers on the best practices and materials to address problems they encounter on their fields.
Market Access: Aldea Development actively helps its clients find better markets for their products. The prospect of a better price provides the farmers with motivation to keep improving the quality of their product. We do this through sales of roasted Aldea Coffee as well as sales of green coffee to other roasters in the United States.
Aldea Development is the reason that we are able to provide high quality coffee to our customers in West Michigan. We give direct recognition to each of the farmers who we work with by naming the coffees after them and showing pictures of each individual farmer. We hope that through these intentional decisions, you are able to make a stronger connection to the beverage you are consuming.
The good that this connection has spread is incredibly inspiring! It started with a passion for caring about others, education for Andrew and Patrick, and has spread through the mountains of Central America to West Michigan! I congratulate all of you for such meaningful work!
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