‘Inspirational’ Central American visitor shows value of Fairtrade
PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 March 2018
A Central American farmer helped two North Somerset villages celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.
Residents from Pill and Easton-in-Gordano gave a warm welcome to coffee producer Urania Hernandez from Nicaragua.
Urania was supported by the Fairtrade Foundation to develop her business and to create a better life for herself and her family.
She left her home in La Perla in the northern highlands of Nicaragua to spend two days in the area, paying visits to both St Katherine’s School and Crockerne Primary School.
Students listened in awe of their foreign visitor, as she spoke to each class about how Fairtrade had not only helped her become a successful coffee farmer and ensure her children had a comfortable home and good education, but also brought benefits to the whole La Perla community.
The international brand has helped to repair roads and introduce street lighting.
People in Urania’s village now have access to proper healthcare and all children were supported to succeed in school.
Sue Tuckwell, who accompanied Urania on her visit, said: “To see the primary-aged children asking question after question showed how much the children wanted to learn about Nicaragua and the difference Fairtrade has made to Urania.
“Her visit has offered a direct relationship with a Fairtrade producer for our schools and community.
“We plan to build on this over the coming months as we move to the next stage of being a Fairtrade village.”
Urania’s visit to Pill’s secondary school, in Pill Road, prompted ‘thought-provoking’ discussions among students.
She dined at the school’s The Lead restaurant and sat in on a number of classes to discuss the problems of the global banana trade, the Fairtrade Foundation, human rights and running a business.
St Katherine’s School headteacher Justin Humphreys said Urania’s arrival was a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for his pupils.
He added: “Our students were able to hear first-hand the direct impact buying Fairtrade goods has on both individuals, their families and their community.
“Her story was truly inspirational and prompted some important reflection from our young people.”