EL CORTIJO - Bananeras el Cortijo
Without help from Fair Trade we could not have had the money to pay for school. Now I am in my first semester at studying Accounting for the public sector. ”
Señora Rosa Bilma Mosquera, wife of worker
This course helped us feel more useful and has given us more options for generating income for our families. The course has given us the chance to meet and share with other women who face similar life challenges. ”
Vanesa Berrio, wife of an El Cortijo worker
If the organization had not given me the loan, two of my daughters would not have been able to study. I am thankful for the opportunity to educate my children. ”
Hetor Dario Escobar, farm worker
Reforestation Project and Environmental Education
Bananeras El Cortijo has used some of its Fair Trade premiums to educate local ninth and tenth graders on ways to protect the environment. The Joint Body calls upon its youth to help in reforesting the banks of the Zungo River, which runs through their community and borders the El Cortijo farm. The Joint Body hopes to ensure a clean local environment for future generations by educating their youth about the importance of sustainability and preservation.
Emergency Loan Fund
Bananeros El Cortijo provides funding for workers affected by natural disasters. After a major hurricane in 2008 for example, the organization provided financial and moral support for four workers - one of whom lost his brother in the disaster and needed help paying funeral expenses, another catching a long term illness and requiring regular medical attention.
Vocational Education Projects
Fair Trade premiums enabled Bananeras El Cortijo to award 24 workers and their family members with scholarships to continue their formal education through various technical courses. The organization was able to pay for a course on sewing kitchen linens (aprons, pot-holders, placemats, etc.) for 25 workers' spouses, providing new skills toward additional sources of income. Not only did this course promote women empowerment and raise their self esteems, it sparked new bonds and friendships.