By Raul Romero, President and COO
The FRUKTUS Foundation, a private non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and developing sustainable communities in Costa Rica’s Caribbean region, recently awarded 29 students diplomas for their completion of the Foundation’s “Harvesting Leaders, Growing Opportunities” program this summer.
The adult educational program, designed to empower inhabitants from five of the communities within Chestnut Hill Farms pineapple and banana-producing areas, focuses on teaching workers healthy, cognitive and sustainable standards and providing them with the tools to become positive community leaders. A variety of topics such as gender issues, conflict resolution and team work are discussed, among other important work/life strategies.
Students receive their diplomas and warm congratulations from the FRUKTUS Foundation staff and partners during a graduation ceremony for the “Harvesting Leaders, Growing Opportunities” program this summer.
In addition to the recent program graduation, the FRUKTUS Foundation also helped build and inaugurate a new pre-kindergarten classroom at the Rio Cascadas School in La Lydia, benefitting more than 25 local students and children of many farm workers. Elementary and high school students in the area, and families of workers, welcomed nearly 1,000 school packages donated by FRUKTUS in its mission to improve and maintain a better quality of life for community members.
The FRUKTUS Foundation also completed the following initiatives during the first half of 2014:
- Began preliminary development of a baseball stadium for the community of El Limbo
- Planted 250 trees, along with Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica, in an effort to reforest areas located within pineapple farms
- Sponsored a summer camp excursion for more than 70 teenagers from three communities to the leading amusement park in San José.
- Hosted inspirational speaker Gaetano Pandolfo for a special lecture and book signing
- Launched a National Pineapple Magazine publication for communities in the region to maintain literacy and industry knowledge
Research was also a priority this year for the Foundation, as Earth University was invited to partner on local, scholarly discussions concerning water issues, collection and garbage disposal in five of the areas communities – and nearly 20 students from San José’s UN Peace University Master’s Program of Responsible Management & Sustainable Economic Development were invited to create a case study on how pineapple activity can be sustainable and positive for economic growth of local communities. Needless to say, the Master’s students were very impressed with region’s social vision and the Foundation’s projects.
FRUKTUS Foundation is a private nonprofit organization, whose members are second generation family members of shareholders of companies dedicated to the pineapple and banana production in Costa Rica. The farms Piñera Parismina (pineapple), Agroindustrial Bananera del Caribe (pineapple), Bananatica de Costa Rica (banana) and Chestnut Hill Farms are the main sponsors of FRUKTUS Foundation.
To join Chestnut Hill Farms and become a supporter of the FRUKTUS Foundation, please contact Andrés Corrales at firstname.lastname@example.org.