Aldea Global was started in 1992 as an association of only 22 members. The group has an average farm size of only 5 hectares, and caters to small holder farmers who ordinarily struggle to obtain traditional financing. By offering affordable loans, the group enables its members to invest in their farms, improve their yields, and increase their income. Aldea also provides its members with technical assistance and guidance on planting, pruning, fertilization, pest management, and harvesting along with micro-credit and marketing services. By providing these services and focusing on small holder farmers, it’s membership has rapidly expanded to more than 8,000 coffee producing members, most of them belonging to the Chorotega Indigenous Community.
Aldea Global’s “Manos de Mujer” program is designed to support women coffee farmers and promote gender equality. The program provides women with training and technical assistance on coffee farming, as well as access to credit and financing. The program also aims to increase women’s participation in decision-making processes within the cooperative and empower them to take on leadership roles. Most importantly, the program helps women coffee producers legalize land titles in their own names. Aldea guides them through this complicated and often expensive process. The program has had a significant impact on the lives of women coffee farmers. Finally owning land in their own name helps women apply for micro-loans to improve and grow their farms, creating a long lasting legacy for themselves and their families.
The cooperative’s commitment to quality extends beyond the coffee itself to the farming practices used by its members. Aldea Global promotes sustainable agricultural practices that are designed to protect the environment and promote biodiversity. This includes promoting shade trees, and the preservation of natural habitats. By promoting sustainable practices, the cooperative is helping to ensure the long-term viability of coffee farming in Nicaragua, protecting livelihoods and helping to ensure an enduring future for its members.