In September 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, a group of four companies from Monteverde, in Puntarenas, agreed to tie the prices of their coffee, cocoa, and sugarcane tours. In addition, decided that from that moment on they would donate $1 to the community for each tourist who booked their tours.
It is expected that by the end of September 2023, this fund will reach $130,000, about ¢70 million at the current exchange rate, which is dedicated to different community projects.
The Monteverde Coffee Tour Alliance is made up of the following companies:
- El Cafetal Coffee Tour
- Don Juan Tours
- The Trapiche Tour
- Monteverde Coffee
“Competition in a conventional market is normal, it is regular. However, we must understand that today, more than competing, the world needs cooperation. We are in a single boat, which is the Planet,” the person in charge of Sustainability Education for the Monteverde Coffee Tour, Guillermo Vargas Leitón, said.
Taking the first step
The objective of this group is for coffee tours to “take the first step” in generating this type of funds so that their economic activity has a direct impact on the community in which they operate.
Fund goes to the community
Over the years, different projects have been carried out thanks to the collection of each of those dollars.For example, free environmental education courses have been financed for children and their families in nearby communities and, together with the State Distance University (UNED), they train and advise entrepreneurs. They also support small businesses to formalize.
In collaboration with Corclima and the municipality, they implement a sidewalk improvement program to encourage people to walk without generating emissions, while doing so safely.
In addition, this alliance together with the Monteverde Community Fund and the Monteverde Institute applied the 2022 Community Survey, with the objective of knowing the current socioeconomic reality.
More recently, the alliance funds one of the community’s youth groups: the Aroma de Café Folkloric Company.Through this group, young people from the community have an opportunity to learn about their community, its customs and traditions. And through different scenes (such as typical dances and masquerades) they tell other people that story.
“We invite companies from Costa Rica, from any community, to join and have similar experiences. The purpose is that economic well-being is not only at the level of the individual company but at the level of the community and country,” added Guillermo Vargas.