The municipality of Santa Elena is located in the department of La Paz, which shares a border with El Salvador in western Honduras. The municipality has approximately 88 square miles and a population of 14,800. Coffee is grown between 1500 and 1800 meters above sea level.
Lowell has been renovating Mayra’s grandmother’s house in Santa Elena, which will be used to host national and international visitors, and serve as a small business incubator for youth and women. The project should be near completion in December 2017.
The house will have a large modern kitchen to support community kitchen events. The community kitchen will be a place (or places, since we want it to be mobile) that has quality cooking equipment. The long term goal is to promote food security but the short term idea is to bring people together to eat what each has grown in their own family garden. We want to inspire innovation by bringing people together in the kitchen, and then ensure that families have the mentorship, training and funding to grow what they want to eat. Eating together is also a community building opportunity that can be turned into action that will help the community thrive.
The house will also have a coffee lab, small roasting operation, and coffee shop where youth and women from the community can get training and learn to run a coffee business.
As part of the new construction, there will also be space to host an artist residency program. The goal is to support a thriving coffee community, where art and culture play equally important roles.
Over the past three years, the youth conference has brought young people from the community of Santa Elena together with volunteers from Honduras and the United States who are successful in their work. The idea is to inspire the next generation to follow their parents into the coffee business with new and innovative ideas, and also create new dreams that can be supported and shaped into entrepreneurial opportunities.
Read about the 2017 Youth Conference on the Royal Coffee Blog.
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