Growers First bought Pastor Pacheco’s entire coffee crop - along with the crops of about 480 other small farmers in the region. Eliminating the middlemen, known as 'coyotes', who take advantage of the smaller farmers is one way additional income is generated by Growers First. The other key was getting organic certification for Pastor Pacheco’s coffee, which added value in the global marketplace.
One of Day’s favorite words is ‘sustainability.’ “Handing out money is robbing a man of his dignity, pride and self-worth,” he maintains. “We feed into that dignity at a grassroots level.”
But the support offered by Growers First is not just economic. Day and his team are actively involved in equipping local pastors, planting churches, and investing in the growth of a small Bible school. Their annual Leadership Conference for pastors and their families drew over 1,000 last year to a cattle ranch in La Ventosa, at the base of the mountains. Paco Montero, who oversees the ranch, hopes to double the size of their main meeting area and build 15 additional restrooms to handle next year’s conference.