BLINC has been working with SOPPEXCCA, the union of Fairtrade Co-operatives in northern Nicaragua for many years and this year they are sending over FT coffee and cacao producer Urania Hernandez. She is from the La Perla community in the highlands of Nicaragua, near Jinotega.
You can meet Urania and hear her speak about her experiences in BRISTOL – TUES 27 FEB at 7pm at the Palestine Museum 27 Broad St, Bristol BS1 2HG. All welcome
Urania says: “I have been a member of my co-“operative, “Ernesto Acuña”, since 2002. I received my first piece of land as a gift from my husband. It was one hectare, and I planted coffee on it – this was made possible by a campaign run by SOPPEXCCA for access to land for women, and through it I have been able, little by little, to harvest more. I have also bought more pieces of land and now I have 2.5 hectares.
Before I got my land, my job was a domestic servant on farms close to my community, and I lived on a small salary that did not allow me to buy land, or build a house, and much less to invest in my own education and increase my knowledge.”
Through the organization, I have been trained in farm management, co-operativism, basic accounting and computing and, also thanks to fair trade and SOPPEXCCA, I have graduated as an agro-ecological engineer. To this I add the knowledge gained on my plot of land, and now i also advise my husband and other members of my cooperative. Because of the knowledge that I have acquired in the organization, I was assigned a temporary job as a coffee gatherer (acopiadora); I am the only woman to do this work in the organization and I encourage other women to take up the challenge, because through this employment I have managed to build a house, little by little. Before, it was made of wood and had an earth floor; now my house is made of concrete, and my children have their own rooms – before we only had a single room where we all slept together.”