Progress is possible, if we start working on it today

Annual Report 2021

Dear Seeds for Progress Friends and allies,

We have great news! Seeds for Progress has been chosen to receive a very special award: the National Coffee Association 2022 award for the Origin Charity of the Year. This important award recognizes the organizations that are leading social initiatives to improve the well-being of coffee-producing regions around the world. Seeds for Progress Foundation has won it but so have you. It is with your help and generosity that, for the last 20 years, we have been able to accomplish a very significant long-term transformation in the lives of over 30,000 children and teachers from the coffee communities of Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Read the full letter >

As you know, the educational model we have developed has incorporated a variety of initiatives to develop skills and knowledge throughout the various stages of the educational system. Our belief is that a beautiful mind is a terrible thing to waste and that education is the cornerstone for better lives and thriving communities. Our adopted public schools are the best in the coffee rural towns, and this has made a tremendous impact in making better-educated citizens and reducing immigration.

In 2021, rising to the challenges posed by the pandemic and other difficulties, we continued to strengthen the three pillars of our model: technology, infrastructure, and the professional development of teachers.  Technological educational tools like those introduced through a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (PENNGSE), were exactly right for the uncertain times of the Pandemic. All investment is done in technology in the last years paid off.

During the last year, we also improved comprehensive programs at different levels of education benefiting 6,000 students from twenty-nine public schools and more than 300 teachers in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Our Seeds to Lead program, which introduces in the curriculum specialized knowledge regarding coffee production could turn these six thousand students into six thousand coffee producers or coffee technicians in the near future.  We are convinced that sustainable development starts in this manner. As you have learned in your association with Seeds for Progress Foundation, education is a long-term investment. We believe that it will result in a generation of coffee growers with better knowledge and skills to produce coffee.

You can be proud to be part of a project that will have an impact throughout the entire coffee chain from seed to consumer!

We are also proud to report that our Cultivating Education program, benefited more than 300 families involved in the coffee harvest. This program prevents child labor while ensuring comprehensive care for more than 500 children.

With an investment of $1.4 million in 2021 and over $6 million in the last 3 years, we have impacted 29 schools in Nicaragua and Guatemala, which has been key for the well-being of communities and creating opportunities for future generations.

We thank each and every one of you. We couldn’t wish for better partners in this journey. We invite you all to keep involved and invest in the men, women, and children that will make not only a better coffee world but a better world for all.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you for your generosity and support!

J.Antonio Baltodano.
President
Seeds for Progress

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Connecting the world to coffee communities

Seeds for Progress is a non-profit organization committed to transforming lives through quality education in coffee communities in Nicaragua and Guatemala, facilitating skill development, creating opportunities for improvement, and complementing generational handover of knowledge and skills.

Learn more about the future we’re building.

EDUCATION LIGHTS EVERY STEP TOWARDS A BETTER LIFE

We empower young minds to own their future and maximize their potential with access to schooling, health, and information.

We promote sustainable development through productive and purposeful participation in their local environment helping their communities flourish.

WHAT ARE WE DOING TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE EDUCATIONAL SHIFT?

We are paving the way for a brighter, sustainable future with access to high-quality education based on our fundamental values of self-determination, innovation, collaboration, integrity, and respect.

Mission & Vision

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MISSION

Facilitate management processes and skills development for integration into rural community life, creating opportunities for innovation and learning. We aim to integrate knowledge through generational splicing in all programs, contributing to the social and productive growth of coffee communities.

VISION

Prosperous communities in coffee regions where education, health, and information become catalysts for sustainable development.

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A Prosperous Future Starts
with a Solid Foundation

Our efforts are aimed at creating sustainable social development in communities, improving people’s conditions in 3 fundamental areas*:

BASIC HUMAN
NEEDS

Water & Sanitation

Nutrition
& basic medical care

Shelter

Personal
Safety

FOUNDATION OF
WELL-BEING

Health &
Wellness

Access to Information & Communication

Access to Basic Knowledge

Environmental
Quality

OPPORTUNITY

Inclusiveness

Personal
Rights

Personal Freedom
& Choice

Access to High Quality education

According to the UN, these fundamental areas form part of the Sustainable Development Goals, the blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. Our efforts address the highlighted critical sections within basic human needs, wellbeing, and the opportunity to thrive in society.

OUR REACH BY THE NUMBERS

We are turning your generosity into opportunities. These are the number of people and places who received help from Seeds for Progress.

Our Communities

Discover the 29 schools and 148 communities in Nicaragua and Guatemala where Seeds for Progress is making a difference.

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image/svg+xml

Ubicados en Jinotega – Zona C

Ubicados en Matagalpa – Zona d

Ubicados en Matagalpa – Zona A

Ubicados en Matagalpa – Zona B

Ubicados en Matagalpa – Zona E

Ubicados en Matagalpa – Zona F

Palencia – Zona 1

Palencia – Zona A

Our Programs

Our Pillars

A love for coffee, and a commitment to education.

Our programs foster innovation, empowerment, and education for students and teachers in coffee-growing communities. We support these initiatives with access to technology, improvement of infrastructure, and a network of mentors that guarantee the successful implementation of the strategies and initiatives. We hold ourselves to high standards through a monitoring and evaluation system that improves our outcomes and measures results.

These efforts contribute to the stability in their educational journey and help them achieve a lifetime of progress.

Logo Grow

Seeds to Grow

PRE-SCHOOL

Aimed at enriching the lives of children through integral and solid education. The program’s foundation is built on dynamic environments and multisensory stimulation led by trained and committed teachers serving as the foundation for lifelong learning. These efforts support their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Our reach

5

Schools

13

TEACHERS

189

Students

2021 Results

120 hours

Of teacher training

13 teachers

Assistants, and school directors trained in Montessori methodology

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Seeds to LEARN

1st – 3rd Grade Development of Basic Reading and Writing Skills

Focused on strengthening writing, reading fluency and comprehension skills during the first years of primary education, through didactic resources and initiatives that foster a successful education and improve teacher training.

Our reach

24

Schools

43

Teacher
Mentor

231

TEACHERS

1,867

Students

2021 Results

292

Teacher training sessions

1,591

Teacher training hours

TEACHER MENTOR TRAINING

Support strategies for reading and technology use

DIDACTIC RESOURCES

Implementation of strategies that strengthen reading, writing, and math skills

EGRA & EGMA

The program Seeds to Learn focuses on developing basic reading and writing skills. The insights from the EGRA-EGMA indicators reassured us of the importance of continuous monitoring to make the necessary adjustments to improve results. The EGRA and EGMA evaluation instruments analyze achievement, opportunities, and areas that need support in students from 1st to 3rd in three cycles.


The words read per minute indicator (WPM) reflects progress and improvement in reading, writing, math, fluency, and comprehension skills.

LAST THREE CYCLES EVALUATION RESULTS

COMPARISON OF WORDS READ IN ONE MINUTE BY STUDENTS FROM 1ST TO 3RD GRADE IN THREE CYCLES

The Covid-19 pandemic led us to reinvent ourselves in many processes. For third graders in 2021, it was their second year of study under the impacts of the pandemic. In 2020, the indicator of words read per minute decreased in relation to groups of students from previous cycles.

However, in 2021, this group of students achieved, through resilience, a balance in their learning rhythms that strengthened their reading skills, obtaining significant achievement and leveling their results with students from other cycles who were not affected by the pandemic.

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Seeds to LEAd

4th – 11th Skills for Entrepreneurship

Committed to developing leadership skills through ventures linked to the coffee culture of rural communities. With a strong focus on generational handover of knowledge and skills like sustainability, and goal-setting practices that increase a sense of fulfillment, encourage the permanence of young individuals in the coffee farms, and improve income opportunities.

We also implement the “Escuela Activa-Nueva” Model, an educational approach that promotes student-based learning, a dynamic relationship between school and the community, and life skills development. We foster active, participatory, and personalized learning while transforming the role of the teacher from a communicator to a mentor and facilitator.

It takes time for seeds to grow

Follow the journey of our accomplishments:

2019

Diagnosis and selection of communities

2020

Contextualization and adaptation of the Seeds to Lead Methodology to the curriculum in Nicaragua

Teacher training and certification

Production and layout of inter-learning guidebooks

2021

Implementation of
inter-learning guidebooks

MINED (Nicaragua Ministry of Education) and teacher validation

Impact evaluation baseline

Teacher training on the program’s methodology

Our reach

11

Schools

138

TEACHERS

1,281

Students

Demographic of students – Seeds to Lead Program

Percents

2021 Results

 382 HOURS OF TEACHER TRAINING

90 teachers certified
48 teachers in the training process

8 INTER-LEARNING
GUIDEBOOKS

Designed for children from 4th to 11th grade

5 REGISTRATION
BOOKS

Designed for students from 7th – to 11th grade

VALIDATED BY MINED

Inter-Learning guidebooks validated by teachers and advisors of the Ministry of Education in Nicaragua

AGRICULTURAL
TOOLKIT

Delivered for practices with inter-learning guidebooks

Flip Through The Pages of our Inter-Learning Guidebooks

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Seeds to Lift

Technical Formation

In the 14 years of the program, we invested in contributing to the ongoing education and technical formation of young individuals in rural communities to reach their professional goals through local and international partnerships and alliances. For most young students, the program represents the only opportunity to continue their basic level studies and access new educational possibilities.

Our reach

27

scholarship
students

56%

reached
college degree

68%

currently
employed

Behind every cup of coffee,
there’s a story.

MEET MICHAEL JACKSON

“This scholarship opened the door to new opportunities”

Michael was born in Jinotega, a city in the north of Nicaragua, known for its coffee culture. During the coffee harvest, Michael’s parents worked on their farm, and it was common for Michael to take care of his younger siblings at home.

This situation is typical for families like Michael’s, where the older children are left in charge of their younger siblings so their parents can work in the picking and collecting of coffee. For this reason, some students abandon school every year between the months of November and February.

From preschool to high school, he attended Las Marías school and recalled his excitement when the Seeds for Progress Foundation visited his school every year to deliver gifts and enjoy a fun day.


At the end of his ninth grade, an opportunity came his way. Michael was selected to receive a Scholarship from the Lacewing Foundation and Seeds for Progress to pursue his secondary studies at La Bastilla Agricultural Technical College.

This moment changed his life. Thanks to the foundation’s support, he finished his high school studies, received a technical degree, and passed the admission exam for the EARTH University of Costa Rica, where he currently studies, thanks to the scholarship he received from the same university.


Like Michael, many young people hope to receive opportunities that help them fulfill dreams and career goals to serve their communities. With your collaboration, you can make these dreams come true.

“I WANT TO BE AN AGENT OF CHANGE, SUPPORT MY FAMILY, MY FRIENDS, AND MY COMMUNITY TO GET AHEAD”

Michael Jackson Hernández Paz

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Cultivating Education

Child labor prevention through Education during the Coffee Harvest

Creating and facilitating a safe space that promotes child development. Achieving this through protection, nutrition, and personalized assistance based on age and academic level, from early educational stimulation to the development of leadership skills and frequent monitoring and evaluation, allows us to prevent child labor through education.

Attention by age group

program
components

Our reach

2021 Results

60

teachers

Trained in child care

504

HOURS

Of teacher training to implement the program methodology

3 TRAINING SESSIONS

Directed to parents, farmers, and farm administrative staff

Investment in 7 centers

To improve safety, including water and sanitation, electricity, kitchen, and dining areas

TESTIMONIAL

Supporting Coffee Growing Communities and Their Families During The Harvest

OUR PILLARS

We educate today, so they can lead tomorrow

Our programs build upon each other to lead children through an enriching educational path that allows them to grow up to be confident, enthusiastic, and active members of their community.

Technology

This pandemic has taught us that technology is a vital part of teaching and learning. At the same time, as advances in technology drive globalization and digital transformation, our focus on digital acquisitions and blended learning models has further helped students and teachers gain the necessary skills to succeed in the careers of the future and in their professional development.

Infrastructure

School is a child’s second home, and the quality of their environment plays an important role in shaping and developing a higher sense of comfort and security, as well as a positive perception of themselves and society. That is why we focus significant efforts on creating motivating and comfortable spaces that strengthen the students’ desire to attend school every day with spacious classrooms, designated eating areas, access to clean restrooms and drinking water.

Mentor’s network

Our mentorship network is the key to successfully implementing and managing our programs through professional development opportunities responding to teachers’ advancement needs and addressing students’ learning and personal goals.

Monitoring
& evaluation

We continuously monitor and measure our impact and results assessing our goals as we pave the way for a brighter future.

Cultivating a Better Tomorrow Through Infrastructure

Fostering student involvement and attendance by creating a safe and encompassing environment that empowers them, develops community, and increases motivation.

In 2021, we supported
7 schools with a

$323,000

investment in Infrastructure
broken down as follows:

Our 2021 Alliances

We are fortunate to build alliances with those who share our passion and vision.

Rising to the challenge

OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19

The impact of Covid-19 affects every aspect of society, including education. But even amid the challenges this brought, we’ve seen that hope can grow from seeds planted years earlier.

Thanks to the technological tools and resources available at our schools we were able to adopt new forms of communication and education that supported the ongoing learning process of our community. In this way, we were also able to lead by example with resilience and determination.

Teacher training

  • TIC mentors completed maintenance and assistance of all technological equipment used remotely.
  • 33% of the teacher training plan was delivered virtually.

Covid-19 Prevention

  • Provided hygiene materials in 29 schools, 7 regional offices and 16 municipalities of the Ministry of Education in Nicaragua and Guatemala.
  • Donated 325 personal protective kits for teachers.
  • Donated hygiene and protective packages for all students.

Access to technology

  • 15 schools were granted with permanent internet access.
  • 305 teachers received internet data plans.
  • 4 schools received technology kits including laptop, proyector, speakers.
  • 53 laptops were assigned for teachers to participate in virtual trainings.

OUR FINANCES

A key component of financial sustainability is the commitment to financial management. Here is the breakdown report of our 2021 annual budget.

Total funds raised in 2021
$1,400,000

INCOME 2021

EXECUTION 2021

Educational programs
implementation

VIRTUAL GALA 2021

Blooming Through Education

Relive the most important moments and transformational work that is taking place in our communities through our 2021 virtual gala.

Be part of the change

DONATE TODAY

How can you help?

Join our network of change-makers that are improving the lives of thousands of people living in coffee growing communities in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Become a Friend of Education and support our programs on a monthly basis.

$10 PER MONTH

Guarantees school supplies for one child for a year.

Donate >

$20 PER MONTH

Supplies reading materials for a preschool classroom for one year.

Donate >

$50 PER month

Supports the teacher training program for one teacher.

Donate >

$100 per month

Supports the monthly internet plan for one school.

Donate >

$250 PER month

Supports didactic materials for children through our Cultivating Education program.

Donate >

OTHER WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE

Board of Directors

J. Antonio Baltodano

President

Indiana Baltodano

Vice President

Craig Russell

Secretary

Members

  • Ivan Rizo
  • MICHELLE JONHSON
  • SHARON RAVITCH, PHD
  • KENNETH HART

Recognizing a join effort

2022 NCA Origin Charity of the year award

Our Donors

The generosity of our benefactors makes our work possible.
Your support changes everything.

Diamond Seed
US$ 100,000 +

Mercon

J.M. Smuckers

Costa Foundation

Platinum Seed
US$ 50,000 +

Café Soluble, S.A.

Nespresso

Paulig Group

Gold Seed
US$ 30,000 +

Lavazza

Producers for Education

Sonia Baltodano

Familia Baltodano Zeledón

Peets Coffee and Tea

Silver Seed
US$ 10,000 +

Embajada de Alemania

Cisa Agro Group
(INTERSA)

AMERRA Capital Management

Friends for Education

Fondazione Ernesto Illy

George and Alexandra
Saalouke Baltodano

Ian Smaldon

Jebsen & Jessen
Hamburg Foundation

Lacewing Foundation

Mortenson Family Foundation

Russell Family Giving Fund

Starbucks

Mercon Specialty

ADISA

Kenneth Hart

Rabobank

Bronze Seed
US$ 1,000 +

Bank of America

Cup for Education

Flor de Caña

Geri Obler

Ivan Rizo

Leonardo Morales

Nancy Obler

RPM Warehouse

Wakefield Inspection Services

Waukesha County

Community Foundation

Rodrigo Cruz
Katherine Cruz

BBH

ING CAPITAL
MARKETS LLC

Leumi

Plasencia

Michelle R. Johnson

DUPUY

Mr Booster and
Mrs Hartwig

Zoe Cruz

Rao Remala

Donald Fox

In Kind

Convoy of Hope

Save the Children