Thursday, March 24, 2011

Past Year Reflections

No matter which road you take out of La Unión you are sure to pass coffee fields. Though throughout the year, the sight you see is different. In the summer months, white flowers are dotting these tall jagged-leafed plants. In autumn, green cherries start forming. In winter, colder temperatures prepare red cherries to be picked. And come spring, we see the branches that once held these ripe cherries are empty.

After all the red cherries are picked, depulped, washed, patio dried, and machine dried, they’re ready to leave Honduras for selective consumers around the world. I invite you to purchase a pound or two at to taste this year’s harvest.

Microloan Coffee

What all this means for Unión MicroFinanza is that we have finally reached the end of year one. Our first loan cycle is now complete. Over the past month, our producers have finished repaying their loans with extraordinary success, and are immediately feeling the rewards of being a UMF client. And remember, our producers also include bean and corn producers who value these staple foods as a supplemental income.

Our first year is behind us, but the work continues. Life within the organization and La Unión are exciting. Kids are done picking coffee and are heading back to public schools. Groups from the United States are getting ready to visit and finish a church in the village of Quiscamote and build latrines in El Aguila. The UMF staff is busy tweaking the loan application and accounting processes for the upcoming loan cycle. And producers are getting ready to receive more loans for this coming harvest. Producers are doing so by taking advantage of a new service being offered by UMF: soil analysis. Now, what is for many their first time ever, producers are finally able to understand what nutrients their soil lacks in order to more effectively fertilize their field. In fact, without calcium, the soil may only be partially absorbing a fertilizer’s nutrients.

Here at UMF, we focus on many different ways to alleviate poverty. One of the ways is to ensure that our clients are not only maximizing yield, but improving crop quality. Slowly but surely, our producers are beginning to understand that better coffee can sell for better prices. With better prices, they can earn more profit. Of course, it is not only important for our producers to earn more, but to save and invest wisely for the future.

We share our producer’s excitement for the future. Unión MicroFinanaza is going strong into the next harvest. With even greater knowledge of the local community, we will continue as the trailblazers for rural microfinance. Be a part of our vision at

By Daniel Schwartz


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