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OrganicFreak

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1 reviews

Review for GROWERS FIRST INC, Laguna Beach, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I went on a missions trip to Oaxaca, Mexico with a team from my church in 2008. During our trip I met this young pastor that lived in that area who had a passion for reaching the rural poor coffee farmers in the mountains of southern Oaxaca. He was involved with the www.GrowersFirst.org group that was also working in those remote, hard to reach areas.

During one of our conversations this pastor said that the next day, he and the Growers First team were going to take a 3 hour trip up the mountain to have a meeting with the coffee farmers to see if Growers First could help them and their communities.

He asked me if I would be interested in joining them on the trip up the mountains so I asked the team I was with if that would be OK and everyone agreed that it would be a great opportunity to learn more about the ministry that Growers First in doing so I went.

That one day trip changed my life!

During the meeting, one of the coffee farmers poured out his heart on how he is losing his family because he is unable to support them through his hard work on his coffee farm. Because he is unable to get a decent price for his coffee, he is at the mercy of the local "Coyotes" as he called them. These are businessmen that travel up the mountains and purchase coffee from farmers that do not have the means to transport their coffee down to sell directly at a higher price.

The young men in the villages have been looking at their dad's struggles and have been leaving to the city and/or other countries to generate income and lively hoods thus leaving the older men to harvest the crops.

I vowed at that moment that I would join Growers First in helping these poor, hard working farmers create a more sustainable income that would help to keep their families intact!

I started out as a volunteer then moved to a part time position and now I am a full time employee of Growers First!

This has turned out to be my dream job! Helping the poor and becoming part of these awesome farmers families!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been able to see the year to year impact that Growers First has made on so many of these rural poor coffee farmers lives. Economically, I have seen farmers income grow from $300 a year to over $2,000+ a year. I have witnessed the environmental impact that Growers First has made through education they provide in better coffee farming practices

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I do not have any changes that I could suggest at this time. Other than that of I wish I had more hours in the day to help the Growers First farmers!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

None

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

The impact it made is unmeasurable and has changed my life

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel that I can make a difference in someone else's life

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Role:  Volunteer & I'm in charge of tracking the farmers information from harvest to harvest.