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Joel Isaac Caballero: Ecological Coffee Training Center in Panama

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This project focuses on the development of a training center for indigenous people to learn how to grow ecological coffee and later on manage to establish their own ecological farms. This understating came after Indigenous people started to leave Panama to neighboring Costa Rica seeking for more profitable jobs. Not only is this migration is harming Panamas economy it also leads to the loss of local indigenous cultivation skills. This center aims to enable local people to continue their indigenous coffee practices while producing a high value product. For more information: Panama has been known for being a small country, but a special coffee producer, since it has perfect environment to develop this activity. This advantage, helped our country to grow and produce one of the best quality coffees in the world. This activity is part taken from knowledge of our forefathers, transferred from one generation to the next. One of the parties that has a very important participation in this activity are the indigenous people. Currently there are 5 indigenous groups in Panama. The one which is more related to coffee production is the Gnobe Buglé group and we do work with laborers in coffee farms in Chiriquí province, next to the border with Costa Rica. Our neighbors are also coffee producers and they demands workers for their harvest, thus, indigenous from Chiriqui move to these big farms in harvest season. This causes Gnobe Buglé people to move from their indigenous working techniques to more "modern" ones leading to lose of their heritage, and cultural aspects regarding coffee production. We wish to keep them here, to keep all this ancestral knowledge. Also, nowadays, we are looking for more sensitive environmental ways for agriculture techniques. To solve this problems, we found out the solution: to train the indigenous people to produce ecological coffee by the construction of a Training Center for coffee workers and, this way, they can grow their own coffee fields

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