Help change a life

HEART STORY

Going back to school

A new school in La Mesa, Colombia, gave this farmer the opportunity to resume his education and change his life.

Santiago Rodriguez, a farmer from Anatolí, is a coffee grower on a 1-hectare farm. Due to economic difficulties and the lack of a school close to his home, he abandoned his studies in 1988, when he was 21 years old. He never had the opportunity to finish high school.

With the construction of new facilities at Anatolí School and the alliance with SENA (Colombian National Learning Centre), many adults like him now have the opportunity to attend classes on weekends. They learn reading and writing skills as well as advanced skills such as accounting for the coffee farm, commercialisation of agricultural products and environmental protection.

He graduated in November and he obtained a high school diploma. “My favourite subject was mathematics and the most difficult one was English. I’m deeply thankful to the Costa Foundation because they gave me the opportunity to develop. I always wanted to finish my studies but I never had the opportunity to do so.”

He is applying the knowledge he gained through his studies. He has implemented a system for accounting control on his farm. He wants to continue with his education by attending short courses related to farming.

“I realized studies were very important to improve the work on my farm. I had many difficulties because I didn’t know how to manage my coffee growing business. Today I have new skills to make my farm run more smoothly and to have a successful coffee business.”

I’m deeply thankful to the Costa Foundation because they gave me the opportunity to develop. I always wanted to finish my studies, but I never had the opportunity to do so.

Santiago Rodriguez, age 47