Local coffee chain Ground Espresso Bars - who have a branch in Ballymoney’s High Street - welcomed Omar Rodriguez from the Capucas cooperative in Honduras as part of his first visit to Fairtrade Ireland.
Omar has been crucial to the success of Ground’s philanthropic education project in Honduras, which began in March 2015 and is forecasted to be finished early April.
As part of an initiative to give back to its producers, growers and co-ops who produce coffee products such as Ground Espresso Bars’ trade-marked Purple Dragon blend, the company propelled funding for the construction of a new education hub in Honduras intended to provide an IT centre with 30 new computers for use by children and young people in the community. It is predicted that the centre will benefit 500 local school children and a further 500 young school leavers who otherwise would not have access to computers and higher education opportunities.
Director of Ground Espresso Bars, Karen Gardiner highlighted the importance of Omar to the company: “The Honduras project is changing the lives of this local community and Omar has played a key role in that. We have entrusted the overseeing and logistics of the hub’s construction to him and we rely on Omar for development and resources updates. The feedback that he relays improves Ground’s continued support of this initiative. Without Omar’s drive and dedication, the expansion of this project would not have been possible, he pushed the vision of the long-term value of higher education for this remote community and has been physically advancing its success. ”