EL CORTIJO - Bananeras el Cortijo
By caring for the environment, we also improve our own lives. This project has made us feel useful. Through it, we use our time in a productive manner, have fun with our friends in a healthy way and care for our surroundings. ”
Daniel Mosquera, student
This course helped us feel more useful and has given us more options for generating income for our families. The course has given us the chance to meet and share with other women who face similar life challenges. ”
Vanesa Berrio, wife of an El Cortijo worker
Without help from Fair Trade we could not have had the money to pay for school. Now I am in my first semester at studying Accounting for the public sector. ”
Señora Rosa Bilma Mosquera, wife of worker
Emergency Loan Fund
Bananeros El Cortijo provides funding for workers affected by natural disasters. After a major hurricane in 2008 for example, the organization provided financial and moral support for four workers - one of whom lost his brother in the disaster and needed help paying funeral expenses, another catching a long term illness and requiring regular medical attention.
Reforestation Project and Environmental Education
Bananeras El Cortijo has used some of its Fair Trade premiums to educate local ninth and tenth graders on ways to protect the environment. The Joint Body calls upon its youth to help in reforesting the banks of the Zungo River, which runs through their community and borders the El Cortijo farm. The Joint Body hopes to ensure a clean local environment for future generations by educating their youth about the importance of sustainability and preservation.
Low Interest Housing Loans
Bananeras El Cortijo allocates a portion Fair Trade premiums specifically for housing loans, helping farm workers to purchase, build or improve their homes. Without Fair Trade premiums, it is more difficult for farm workers to access loans with such favorable credit terms.
Scholarsips for Workers and Community
Bananeras El Cortijo allocated almost 6 million Colombian pesos to an academic program, awarding 48 scholarships to its workers and families. Of the group, three workers received scholarships to complete a higher education, all of which are now attending college, including one worker's spouse. Forty four children also received assistance with school transportation fees, uniforms and meals.