3-29-18 | Success Story
At 20 years old, Diego can already say that he has achieved a great deal in his life, although he confesses that it has not been easy. This young fighter was born in the small community of Buena Vista, in Las Sabanas, in the north of Nicaragua. A rural environment, being the son of small farmers and having limited access to basic services such as water and electricity did not stop him from being motivated to focus on his studies by his humble and low-income family.
Diego had to walk for half an hour to get to school every day. He liked to study even though he did not even have books. Moreover, he was fortunate to be a part of the Child Sponsorship Program during part of schooling, through which he had access to a quality education, trained teachers, school supplies, and even a daily school lunch. He recalls that what worried him most was finishing sixth grade because there was no high school in his community or other opportunities to continue his high school studies.
One day, as Diego was working on the coffee farm owned by his uncle, a neighbor arrived informing him that this year, Fabretto was going to launch the SAT Program in Buena Vista. SAT is a rural baccalaureate program endorsed by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education. He did not think twice and was quick to enroll. Diego is very fond of talking about his high school years with the SAT program. The training he received is what has helped him to become the hard-working young man he is today.” In SAT, we not only learned to improve cultivation techniques, diversification of crops, and pest control in a practical way, we were also taught to serve and become more involved in our community and to be more independent. They even taught us communication skills, how to relate with others and express ourselves better.”
Thanks to SAT, he was also able to implement a business plan and improve his family’s economic conditions. Through the “El Sabanero” initiative, he and other classmates produced and sold coffee. During his years in the program and with the support of Fabretto, he also had the great opportunity to travel abroad and share his experience with 4-H clubs.
When Diego finished high school, he thought of immigrating to Costa Rica with a relative. At the time, it seemed to him that he had already achieved everything he could within his community and he was unable to afford university studies. However, luck knocked on his door again. When a Fabretto teacher came looking for him at home, Diego received the wonderful news that Fabretto had granted him a scholarship. He would be able to go on to study at a university and continue to break down barriers.
He is currently in the 4th year of Business Administration. In his first years of university, he had the opportunity to do an internship at Vega Coffee. His perseverance and dedication paid off because, at the end of the internship period, he was asked to continue working with them. Thanks to a project funded by the The Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN)and the Japan Special Fund for Poverty Reduction (JPO), Diego receives continuous training on the management, quality control and techniques of coffee roasting, allowing him to enrich his knowledge on coffee and come closer to becoming an expert. Diego affirms with conviction: “Fabretto opened the way for me to be the person I am today.”
Last February, he traveled again to the United States to represent Vega Coffee and Fabretto in the Roasters Village at this year’s South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. This year was the first time a Nicaraguan company participated in the exclusive festival. This new opportunity has helped Diego to become convinced of the importance of quality education. He is excited to be able to motivate other young people in his community with the message that if you try hard, everything is possible.
Diego’s testimony is a clear example of the power that education has in the lives of rural youth in Nicaragua. We are proud and excited that Diego and hundreds of young people from the most remote communities of the country are moving forward.
About FOMIN-JPO Project:
Over 1,800 youth benefit from quality technical and vocational education to help increase employability and support the local economy. The project is carried out by Fabretto, through the implementation its Rural Secondary Education Program –SAT, which mixes models for formal and vocational training that allow rural youth to improve their access and links to high-value supply chains and markets. The project targets rural youth living in three regions of Nicaragua: the Southern Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCS), Madriz, and Nueva Segovia.