Our Sister Parish
Why Order Coffee?
El Salvador is a small mountainous country in Central America with rich volcanic soil and a reputation for hard working citizens. By combining a strong work ethic with near perfect coffee growing conditions, El Salvador’s farms have supported their communities while growing excellent coffee.

But current coffee trading practices can come between farmers and you. Each year exporters, brokers, creditors and processors take a larger share of coffee proceeds, leaving farmers and El Salvador’s communities with less than 10¢ of every dollar. But there is an alternative.

Fair Trade
Coffee sold through this project meets and exceeds internationally recognized fair trade standards, standards that balance inequities found in the conventional coffee trade. Fair trade standards more than triple the income of Salvadoran farmers who grow, harvest and process this exceptional coffee. This additional income provides access to a host of social services such as education, medical care, public transportation and recreation facilities. Farm families are also guaranteed adequate housing and access to clean water.

Sustainable Farming
While coffee farming can be particularly trying to the local environment, it doesn’t have to be. Coffee plants need to be grown in high altitudes with warm days and cool nights. This usually means on steep hillsides where erosion and chemical runoff is likely. By using a combination of traditional and modern farming methods, farmers who sell coffee through this project protect their soil and water.

Forty-two hundred feet above sea level, the traditional shade grown method of coffee farming is practiced. Coffee is planted in the shade of fruit trees and taller trees. These trees prevent erosion while providing protection for coffee plants, food and wood for families, and shelter to birds and wildlife.
Farmers also use organic methods to protect the environment. Instead of using chemical fertilizers, they take advantage of the natural fertility of the coffee cherry. Once the beans are extracted from the fruit of the coffee plant, the remaining pulp is used to fertilize plants the following season. This natural process protects the health of the soil as well as neighboring creeks and rivers, while maintaining balance between soil, plants and animals.

Local Development
Buying coffee through this project also promotes sustainable community and economic development, with a large portion of proceeds going to projects designed and organized by local residents.