For young Hondurans, gangs are a constant threat. Joining one may sometimes seem like the only option for survival. At Kenco, we want to make a difference, so we’re starting by offering a group of vulnerable young people a chance at a better life. By training them as coffee farmers, we’re offering an alternative to gangs and an opportunity for a new future.
Over the next 11 months, they’ll learn everything from the basics of coffee farming to running their own business. Starting in September, you’ll be able to meet the participants and follow their stories.
Meet the 20 participants who’ll spend the next 11 months on a journey, learning about coffee farming in Honduras.
They were chosen because they come from vulnerable backgrounds with a risk of exposure to gangs. Their names have been changed, but their stories are real.
Antonio is only 16 but has had to leave school to help support his father. While his dad provides for his family of 10 by selling bananas, Antonio tries to do his bit by working for tips in a supermarket. Living in a particularly dangerous gang area, and with high unemployment, Antonio hopes learn new skills, study and progress.
Carlos lives with his family in an area of Honduras with well-known gang problems. After leaving school, he briefly worked as a mechanic before becoming unemployed. Carlos is looking to develop his skills to help him find work.
Sara is 22. A single mother, she lives with her daughter and grandmother. The father of her child, like many Hondurans, immigrated to the United States, and she is no longer in touch with him. Sara is looking for a way forward for her and her daughter in a world away from gangs, and to develop skills that will help her do this.
Gracia is 18. Like many young Hondurans, she tried to immigrate to the United States but didn’t make the journey. Along the way she narrowly escaped an attempted gang assault. Now back in Honduras living with her aunt, she is looking to build her life away from gangs.
James is 16. He lives in Honduras with his grandparents: both his parents died before he was 10. James needed to start work before he could finish his studies, in order to get by, but now doesn’t have the skills to find a job. He’s hoping to complete his education and learn skills that will give him a chance at future work.
21-year-old Ana lives with her grandparents, and came to the farm excited about learning new skills. Sadly, personal circumstances meant that she had to say goodbye before the end of the project. We’re really sorry to see Ana go, and wish her the best of luck for the future. In the meantime, look out for a new face on the farm – coming soon.
19 year old Roberto lives in Honduras with his family and younger brothers, in a community where there is a high gang presence. With few opportunities and a difficult family life, he has been arrested in the past. Although his brothers are still studying, he could no longer continue at school because he needed to support them. He’s looking to further his education in an environment away from gangs.
Paulo lives with his mother and three sisters in a dangerous part of Honduras. It’s an area with high unemployment and with well-known gang problems. Paulo couldn’t finish his studies and is currently out of work. He is looking to develop skills to use in the future.
Louis is 20 and lives with his wider family in a dangerous part of Honduras. Louis had to leave school early and has since found it hard to find work, even though he has travelled to different parts of Honduras. He’s frustrated that he can’t support his family and so hopes to develop skills to help him do so.
Ernesto lives with his wife and three children, in an area with high unemployment and with well-known gang problems. Ernesto has found it hard to support his family, and is working as a rubbish collector. Finding future employment is his greatest hope in order to provide for them in the future.
Dani is 17. A single mother, she lives with her 1 year old daughter in a dangerous area of Honduras. Her husband is often away with the military, and so she cares for her daughter alone. Dani is hoping to develop the skills to start her own business as a way to support her family in the future.
Luisa lives in a dangerous part of Honduras with her mother and younger brother. She spent time in a rehabilitation centre, to help her with problems caused by her difficult home life. Luisa is looking to re-build her life, and is hoping for a way forward with new found skills and education.
Javier is 17. Javier couldn’t finish his studies because of his family’s money problems. His dad is a farm worker, and Javier hopes to learn and develop skills to help support his family in future.
Luis lives with his family in a dangerous part of Honduras. Luis couldn’t finish his studies, instead leaving to find work to help support his family. He has found this hard, and is looking to develop his entrepreneurial skills to help him in the future.
Enrique lives with his wider family in a dangerous part of Honduras with high unemployment. Enrique left school at a young age, and has struggled to find stable work. He is looking to develop skills to help him move forward.
Santiago is 19 and lives with his family in Honduras. Like many young Hondurans, he was forced to leave school earlier than he would have liked because of his family’s financial difficulties. He has found it hard to find work, and is hoping to develop a business plan for his own farm.
Mario is 16 and lives in a dangerous part of Honduras. Mario left school at a young age and has found it hard to stay out of trouble. After seeking work in the United States, he was deported back to Honduras, and is now looking for a way to help develop his future opportunities.
Pablo is 18. He’s from a dangerous neighbourhood: his father was killed when he was a child, and gangs have an everyday presence. To help with the family’s money difficulties, Pablo is looking to find ways to help support them, and hopes to eventually start a business with his mother.
Maria is 23. A single mother, she lives with her three year old daughter and her wider family in an area of Honduras where there is a large gang presence. Threatened to join a local gang in the past, she travelled to the U.S in an attempt to avoid this threat. But like many young people was deported shortly after her arrival, and is hoping for a way forward for her and her daughter.
Juan is 18 and lives alone with his mother. Living in an area rife with gangs, he left school at twelve and has been supporting his family selling vegetables. This work has proved difficult, and he is looking forward to developing skills for a new career.
In sweltering Honduras, the participants in Kenco’s ground breaking Coffee vs Gangs project are preparing to pitch for the seed funding that they hope will kick off their future businesses once they have graduated from the scheme.
“This project is not just important, it’s everything to me,” explains one hopeful participant, Enrique. “I am working to support my family. I must keep going forward.”
If Enrique and his friends can put together watertight business plans, they will have a chance to change not only their own lives but those of their families and communities.See the rest
By choosing Kenco, you’re already supporting Coffee vs Gangs, as well as our other grassroots projects in Honduras and beyond.
You can make an even bigger difference to our projects – including Coffee vs Gangs, coming soon – using your Kenco Rewards Club points. So if you’re not yet signed up, join now to collect points on your favourite Kenco products.
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