The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
Diana Ruíz / El Salvador

Province: Santa Ana
City: Santa Ana
Age: 18

Class of 2014-2017

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Scholar: David Maduri Scholar: Ellina Chinangwa

Diana’s family lives in Santa Ana, El Salvador, but often travels south to join their extended family in Sonsonate for the coffee harvest season. It was the visits to Sonsonate that sparked Diana’s interest in agriculture.

Diana has noticed that coffee growers in El Salvador often have to borrow money while the coffee is growing. Once coffee harvest season begins, they are asked to pay their debts. If the harvest is ruined by a disease, or by the weather, coffee growers have no way to pay off their debts, making it an unstable profession. As a result, many coffee growers are abandoning their fields in search of more stable jobs. Diana believes that “because El Salvador’s government does not offer support to coffee growers, coffee production is becoming a lost part of our culture.” Diana hopes to learn ways to make coffee production more stable back home in order to protect a part of her culture she holds so dear. “Picking coffee is beautiful. It’s a wonderful business that makes me never want to abandon it.”