- Nicaraguan coffee farmer Melba Amparo Estrada Guillen is widowed, even though she is only 40
years old. She supports her six children with proceeds from growing coffee, grains, and beans. And
her success is due to hard work, dedication, sacrifice…and Prodecoop.
- Founded in 1993,
Prodecoop is a coffee cooperative that processes and markets coffee for its 2,300 smallholder
coffee farmer members. A registered Fair Trade organization, Prodecoop was the first farmer-owned
coffee export company in Nicaragua and is one of the strongest, best-known small coffee farmer
organizations in Latin America. Prodecoop's members are organized into 38 primary associations and
receive training and technical assistance from Prodecoop staff. Prodecoop is also the sole
provider of financial resources to these primary cooperatives and to their producer members like
- In 1996, Melba co-founded San Antonio Coffee Cooperative, which is now part of
Prodecoop. Since then, she has consistently taken on leadership positions within the cooperative,
including serving as treasurer, secretary, and Gender Commission coordinator. "I do this with
pride and dedication," she said of the many hats she wears in the community.
- Indeed, her
dedication is noticed. In 2004, San Antonio Cooperative named her "volunteer mother," and she was
entrusted to watch the members' young children.
- But one of the most important jobs she has
assumed over the years is dedicating herself to her own children. Because of her hard work, her
children are all in school, and she is determined that they will succeed.
- Just like she