people benefitting from the coffee tour
G Adventures travellers visiting annually
Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
In 2009, San Miguel de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica was affected by a massive earthquake. The collapse of the main road left this community with no access to services or customers for several years. With this isolation they were unable to access the opportunities that other regions were receiving from the growth in tourism in Costa Rica. In 2011, the CoopeSarapiqui cooperative established the Mi Cafecito Coffee Tour to try to find ways for the coffee producers to earn more money. While it was a good idea in theory, they did not receive enough visitors to sustain the business, and were at the point of shutting down when Planeterra began working with them to develop a sustainable enterprise.
Planeterra and G Adventures have worked with a small community coffee cooperative to develop the Mi Cafecito program, which includes a meal experience at their on-site restaurant, and other related tourism services in San Miguel de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. As the town’s main cooperative, Coopesarapiquí brings together more than 200 small farmers that produce organic coffee from the four regions of San Carlos, Sarapiqui, Heredia and Alajuela. In addition to the coffee tour they farm fish for fresh lunches for their visitors. With training and the reliable customer base that G Adventures provides, the cooperative was able to triple revenues in the first year of operation.
In 2009, a strong earthquake hit Walter’s community. The hotel he was working in was destroyed and he was left without work. After being unemployed for four months he started to work at the Mi Cafecito coffee cooperative, but was soon at risk again of being out of work. It was then G Adventures groups started to visit and changed everything. Through Walter’s work as a tour guide at the coffee cooperative he earned a job as a CEO, where he now works full time and still proudly returns to Mi Cafecito with his groups.
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