When a superior-tasting coffee is created for a great cause, everyone wins. Coffee doesn’t grow well in the US, outside of Hawaii and a few slivers of territory in California. The water could be put to better use there. Subida Coffee Co. produces gourmet coffee in Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras. The coffee earnings help teenage boys residing at and being educated by the Moses Project. The Project has a 120-acre farm operation that also houses around 40 boys at any given time.
The Moses Project is an organization that produces the Subida brand of coffee. It’s part of a non-profit in the area, which is a 501(c)(3) named Mission UpReach, Inc. It was founded by an American family who saw teenage boys in need of the means to continue their education in Honduras. Many teenagers cannot continue high school because their families need them to work. Mission UpReach has also given opportunities to other students at an orphanage. The teenagers receive a normal education, along with practical farming and animal-raising skills that secure their prospects for the future.
The good that the Moses Project executes through its programs is multi-faceted. Students continue their regular high school education when they wouldn’t otherwise. This puts value on their learning and enrichment, teaching them that they matter as individuals and their future matters. Without continuing school, they would need to earn money however they could. This would likely limit their ability to reach their full potential. When young people are learning about themselves and their place in the world, it’s important to give them an opportunity for more open prospects. After finishing their education, they have an opportunity not only to develop themselves but their communities as well.
The Moses Project teaches students about several segments of agriculture, in addition to regular high school material. Beyond just learning agricultural theory, they receive hands-on experience. With these skills, they can choose to farm when they reach adulthood. They might also use their other education and skills. They may go on to help grow the superior coffee that is putting coffee in Honduras, and especially in Western Honduras, on the map.
Aside from coffee, the boys also learn to grow greenhouse vegetables. Developing this diverse knowledge of crops and food supplies can be very empowering for them. They can cultivate a variety of crops if they go on to have their own farm or work on another’s. Likewise, in a country where the populace is routinely challenged by sociopolitical and climate-related problems, learning about different crops can serve as insurance for their own livelihoods.
Coffee was Honduras’ most valuable export in 2020. Nevertheless, exporting it relies on an international chain that is far out of the average Honduran’s control. Coffee leaf rust is another problem. By learning to grow and harvest a variety of vegetables, they can insulate themselves from turmoil, severed trade relationships and climate issues. However, they aren’t endowed with a variety of knowledge in only a negative line of thinking. Two positive notes are that the boys can be ready to meet a need for a certain crop as it arises, or can just choose to cultivate a crop they love growing!
The youth at the Moses Project don’t stop their hands-on learning experience with plants. They also learn aquaculture, which is raising fish as a commodity. Tilapia is a versatile fish that has exploded in popularity over the past few decades.
Poultry husbandry is another feature of the Moses Project. The teenagers learn to raise chickens. Diversifying their knowledge and skill base with a ubiquitous protein source is a goal of the project. They also learn beekeeping, which is a grand effort in preserving expert pollinators and balancing an ecosystem.
Bright Futures and Teamwork
Instead of having to strike out on their own to earn money for themselves or to help support their families, the teenage residents can continue their learning and development in the structure and safety of the Moses Project. There, they can thrive with the help of teachers and mentors. However, it’s not just the learning and guidance that makes the difference. In learning about and cultivating crops and contributing to the success of the premium brand of coffee Subida, the boys are part of a team. The camaraderie of working toward important goals with their peers, friends and adopted brothers is one of the most important benefits. Some maintain strong bonds with other Moses Project residents and mentors for life. Coffee brings people together in so many ways.
Not only does the Moses Project teach them skills, they teach teenage boys that their futures matter. They instruct them in agriculture and aquaculture, of course, but more importantly, they learn lessons about their own capability.
Instead of being thrust into society to support themselves or their families in a solitary way, which could result in them straying from a productive and safe path, they also receive a Christian education. Their morals and values are shaped to help them lead fulfilling lives. Diametrically opposed to what can happen to them on the street in a country with corruption, gangs and a lack of consistent justice, they receive structure, education, skills and values with which they can earn a steady, honest living.
Subida Coffee Co.
Without the mission of assisting Honduran teenage boys with their transition to adulthood, Subida Coffee’s decadent flavor alone is compelling. The brew is carefully crafted by a team led by agricultural engineers. Conditions in many coffee-growing regions along the equator have grown difficult due to extreme weather produced by climate change. With the Moses Projects’ growers and harvesters are highly committed to the project. They can keep tight control in the face of droughts and floods. This can be an important stabilizing factor for the community of Santa Rosa.
When coffee can’t be purchased locally, supporting a great cause is another option. Putting Honduran coffee on the map not only helps the boys but can have positive ripple effects throughout the community.