Children and young people have limited access to education; the costs are too high for their parents while the quality and efficiency of the schools is inadequate. Nevertheless, children represent the future; therefore COCAFCAL invests in local schools to raise standards of education.
Not all young people take a keen interest in matters of education. Many sons of successful producers for example do not want to study and opt instead to work in the coffee plantations.However, should they wish to study, they receive support from the cooperative. To date, six students have received university scholarships. Further training is available if they wish to become employees of the cooperative.
The computer library is located in a remodelled sea container. It has eight computers. It is managed by Miriam Seiger (27) who teaches six groups of children and adults to work with computers. It is paid by the cooperative, using the fair trade bonuses from the coffee. The library is open to the whole community of Las Capucas (2,500 people), so it is not just available to members of the cooperative. Children and small entrepreneurs can do their homework more effectively, search for information and print documents. The library is free of charge for anyone wishing to use it.
The government only provides one nurse for a community the size of Las Capucas (2,500 people).The clinic is supported by the cooperative, which uses the fair trade bonuses to pay for the doctor, one extra nurse, medication, vaccines, transportation and pre-natal care. The clinic not only provides medical care, it also provides advice about illness prevention and general health improvement. The clinic’s existence saves people from Las Capucas having to make the one-hour journey to the nearest clinic. Most people do not have a car, cannot afford the travel expenses and would arrive too late in the event of an emergency.