Central America and Mexico

Our journey began in the Western Highlands of Guatemala in 1999. Recognizing a financing gap that disadvantaged smallholder farmers, we made our first loans to high-impact coffee cooperatives. Nearly two decades later, we’re more committed than ever to supporting agricultural-led growth and development in the region. With offices in San Jose, Managua, and Chiapas, we partner with a diverse network of agricultural businesses focused on high-value industries like coffee and cocoa.

Maya Ixil: Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Indigenous Farmers in Guatemala

To combat entrenched poverty and violence, this coffee cooperative improved the incomes of indigenous farmers. With towering oaks, gushing waterfalls and long green stretches of bountiful coffee trees, Guatemala’s Maya Ixil region is a place of lyrical beauty. But listen closely enough, and the lyrics tell an entirely different story—a story of an ugly past marked by heartbreaking violence. In…

COOPEASSA: Growing a More Sustainable Future for Farmers in Costa Rica

By teaching organic practices, this fruit cooperative ensures farmers don’t have to sacrifice their health or the environment to make a profit. In Walter Elizondo Naranjo’s office in San Antonio, Costa Rica, hangs a large banner with pictures of pineapple, bananas, and oranges. 100% orgánico, the banner proudly states. Looking at the banner, Walter grins broadly. “This is COOPEASSA.” Thirty…

UCCEI: Doubling Incomes Under One Woman’s Leadership in Nicaragua

After tapping a brilliant woman leader to run the business, this coffee cooperative is thriving. Kenia Ubeda never thought she’d be running a coffee business. “I was an agronomist and a coffee farmer,” she says with a smile on her face. “I didn’t know the first thing about commercializing coffee.” But the community leaders who tapped Kenia to found and…

SOPPEXCCA: Empowering Women Coffee Farmers in Nicaragua

This coffee cooperative invests in the advancement of women, education of youth, and community health programs. SOPPEXCCA is a Fair Trade and organic-certified coffee cooperative located in the jungles of Jinotega, Nicaragua, where 65% of the nation’s coffee is grown. This business is known for its emphasis on gender inclusion and the empowerment of women farmers—40 percent of its members…

Copiasuro: Maximizing Gains for Farmers and the Environment in Guatemala

In the rural highlands of Guatemala, this honey cooperative has found ways for both farmers and the planet to thrive. When Alvaro Almengor assumed the position of general manager at Copiasuro, a cooperative of honey producers spread across the southwestern highlands of Guatemala, its 22 members had little more than 113 hives and dreams for a better life. “They provided…

Fair-Fruit: Strengthening Environmental Sustainability and Profits for Indigenous Farmers in Guatemala

To reduce widespread poverty among indigenous communities, this produce exporter connected farmers to fair trade markets that pay premium prices. Guatemala is the world’s third-largest exporter of snow peas and sugar snap peas. Indigenous farmers living in the highlands produce 99 percent of the crops. For these farmers—70 percent of whom live below the poverty line—gaining access to fair trade…

COCAFELOL: Providing Education and Opportunities for Young People in Honduras

To ensure the long-term sustainability of coffee farming in their community, this cooperative cultivates meaningful career paths for youth. Many young people perceive agriculture as a career that’s difficult, unrewarding, or devoid of pathways for career advancement. Often, their perceptions prove true—and in parts of Honduras, the challenges faced by young people in rural regions have risen to the level…