EL CORTIJO - Bananeras el Cortijo
If the organization had not given me the loan, two of my daughters would not have been able to study. I am thankful for the opportunity to educate my children. ”
Hetor Dario Escobar, farm worker
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
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
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.
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.
Vocational Education Projects
Fair Trade premiums enabled Bananeras El Cortijo to award 24 workers and their family members with scholarships to continue their formal education through various technical courses. The organization was able to pay for a course on sewing kitchen linens (aprons, pot-holders, placemats, etc.) for 25 workers' spouses, providing new skills toward additional sources of income. Not only did this course promote women empowerment and raise their self esteems, it sparked new bonds and friendships.