EARTH grad brews social impact for Honduran coffee farmers

Date: July 23rd, 2021

De la mano con el caficultor. Under this slogan – meaning “hand-in-hand with the coffee farmer” – Terence Fuschich (’98, Honduras) has worked to sustainably boost small growers’ crop yields and improve their lives.

Portrait of Terence

Terence is a manager at Compañía Hondureña del Café S.A. (COHONDUCAFÉ), a company founded by his family that has commercialized and exported high-quality coffee for more than 50 years. In 2013, Terence created the COHONDUCAFÉ Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, which promotes ecological protection and social development within coffee-growing communities in Honduras.

The Foundation’s projects have already touched the lives of more than 200,000 people. Its efforts have included constructing nine schools and three libraries, providing thousands of pairs of shoes and other supplies to students and updated educational materials to teachers, funding medical services for 4,000 families, distributing 5,300 first-aid kits, building 6,500 latrines to manage sewage, and training countless women and youth in entrepreneurship.

Building alliances for communities

“The social impact we’ve had on farmers and their families in Honduras is what fulfills us,” Terence says, “much more than, for example, having set up the largest coffee-production plant in Central America.”

In the past year alone, eight health centers and two hospitals have been fully equipped with medical supplies and equipment thanks to the Foundation’s strategic alliances with U.S.-based organizations. After hurricanes Eta and Iota hit Honduras in November 2020, Terence and his team managed donations and delivered aid to thousands of victims. In the past few weeks, they have distributed 260 agricultural kits to families, to convert their land into model farms where neighbors can learn how to grow coffee more sustainably.

COHONDUCAFÉ and its Foundation have established more than 30 partnerships and co-investment agreements with international coffee buyers, NGOs, governmental institutions, private companies, and universities, including EARTH University. They have hosted four EARTH students – Hondurans Arnulfo Alvarado (’15), Norman Reyes (’16), and Dolores Salazar (’16) as well as Cipriano Martinez (’15, Panama) – as interns.

Thousands have been impacted

Two other EARTH graduates – Alex Fabricio Caballero (’20, Honduras) and Lynda Alvarado (’20, Honduras) – currently work for the Foundation, leading training and technical-assistance programs for farmers in different mountainous regions of the country.

“At EARTH, we’re encouraged to return to our countries upon graduation, brimming with knowledge, to improve social, environmental, and agricultural conditions in our spheres of influence,” Terence adds. “This is what motivated me to start the COHONDUCAFÉ Foundation, to share all my knowledge with my country, my sector, and my people.”

We celebrate Terence’s journey and uphold him as an example to follow for future leaders of change.