Martha Alicia Moreno is Project Coordinator for Seeds for Progress Foundation with more than 20 years of experience in social projects relating to education and integral community growth. Martha Alicia has been surrounded by coffee her entire life, she was raised in the coffee community of San Sebastian de Yali, in Jinotega, Nicaragua where she was immersed in the coffee culture of her family and community.
Martha Alicia feels a deep commitment to communities because she saw her story reflected on children in rural areas that have the same dreams and goals she had. She, like many girls in coffee communities, had to overcome many obstacles for her education. “Coming from a rural family member of small coffee producers I know first-hand the experience of boys and girls in these regions. I had to cross a river, walk two hours to get to school and feel uncertainty about being able to continue the next school year, affirms Martha Alicia.
Growing up in a small family of coffee producers allowed her to understand the adversities that many families face in rural regions, like financial instability. She had to overcome many obstacles to get where she is. She learned to read during the national literacy crusade and when she was 14, she was able to start her education in a public school, breaking social schemes and school protocols because she was over the age limit to be admitted to any school. This was just one of the many hurdles she had to jump over to become the person she is today. “I went to college as a single mother and having to work at the same time to support my children. Doing a master’s degree and a doctorate in one of the most demanding universities in Costa Rica seemed an almost impossible challenge but I achieved it, with effort, dedication, my attitude towards life and the scholarship that Mercon Group gave me allowed me to graduate with honors.”
“When I first started working for the Foundation, I saw the opportunity to grow as a person and create an innovative proposal for the education of children in our country. Being part of this organization opened a world of possibilities for me to share my story and my ideas with many rural girls who, like me, need concrete and urgent actions to transform their lives.” Nowadays Martha Alicia is proud to work every day for the development of education in coffee-growing communities. “Knowing that my work transforms lives, even the smallest tasks add to the transformation of lives, is very rewarding.”
Martha Alicia, is no stranger to the coffee world, she knows the strength and resilience each coffee bean has and just like coffee she has been able to succeed despite all odds, showing determination and strength to give back to communities she loves and know and have seen her grow. She is an example of perseverance and strength for the Seeds for Progress family. She is Resilience, She is Coffee.
This story is part of the #SheIsCoffee series in partnership with Mercon Coffee Group. Join us all month of March as we recognize strong and resilient women making a difference in coffee communities.