Worker housing

March 2017, we started our second project at Finca Santa Teresa: addressing worker housing conditions outside of the farm.

After completing our Reforestation Project (see below), we worked with Jorge to figure out what other issues we could address that would directly affect quality of life for the workers of Finca Santa Teresa. Our long term goal for this project is to improve housing conditions for the workers at their homes around the region. Jorge has already provided comfortable housing at Finca Santa Teresa, but the workers only spend 4 months of the year here. The other 8 months are spent at their homes which are often in less than ideal conditions and are difficult to access.

Jorge started this project by conducting a needs assessment, identifying beneficiaries, the communities they came from, and their individual needs concerning construction materials. In March, Noah and Jason travelled to Nicaragua to meet each beneficiary and help with the purchase and distribution of construction materials. 


project timeline

January 2017: Noah travels to Nicaragua. During this trip, Jorge holds a raffle to pick the 16 beneficiaries of the project. We initially selected 16 because our projected budget was enough to cover 16 families. 

February 2017: Jorge conducts a needs assessment for each beneficiary, identifying the beneficiary, the community he or she came from, what materials were needed and intended use.

March 2017: Jason and Noah travel to Nicaragua and interview and photograph each beneficiary. Together, they purchase and distribute materials to each beneficiary. 

April 2017: Jorge continues to deliver materials to beneficiaries. To see his April report, click here.

January 2018: Noah and Enrique travel to Nicaragua and raffle for the next 20 families to receive materials to restore their homes. 

May 2018: We return to Nicaragua along with Photographer/Barista, Paul to interview and document the next round of 20 beneficiaries who will benefit form our working housing project. 

Last year, Think Coffee and coffee farmer, Jorge Lagos distributed materials to each family. Some of the beneficiaries found it challenging to do much of the construction work and restorations themselves. 

This year, we decided to make things better for the farm workers, who already have full-time work and hire a contractor who will get the job done quicker and just in time for the heavy rain season. 

additional information 

Read our complete project brief here.

To view our data from baseline interviews, click here.

To view our April report, click here.


       2,000 pine tree saplings planted


reforestation project, june, 2016

Jorge Lagos’ farm, Finca Santa Teresa, is in Dipilto, Nicaragua. He has always treated his workers well; when we first started a relationship with him, he was rebuilding worker housing to include ventilation systems that would make the wood-burning kitchens safer. Since then, he also bought the farm next to his own to continue building worker houses, and also provides good wages and food to his farmers.

Recently, a federally funded company called Albamadera started major deforestation projects in the area in order to be able to export the lumber to Venezuela in exchange for cheap gas. This has had severe negative consequences for Jorge and his community; the area was once lush, but has begun to lose its crucial water supply- in 2016, the area ran dry for a week, which was previously unheard of. To combat this issue, Jorge purchased school supplies and traded them to local members of his community in exchange for pine tree saplings to start a major reforestation project in the area. This past June, we conducted a project to help plant 2,000 pine trees and help revitalize the local ecosystem in Dipilto. 

project timeline

2013: Think Coffee begins sourcing from Jorge Lagos' farm Finca Santa Teresa, Jorge is in process of rebuilding worker housing to include safe ventilation in their woodturning kitchens. 

June 2016: Jorge and Think Coffee representatives, Enrique and Noah, plant 2,000 pine tree saplings in the area surrounding Finca Santa Teresa. 

January 2017: Unfortunately, some of the trees planted in the summer were ripped up by a neighbor, who claimed they would start electrical fires. Because of this, we're starting a new project that will be focused on providing Jorge's workers with materials to help them rebuild their homes. This new project on Finca Santa Teresa will begin after the harvest. 

March 2017: Noah travels to Nicaragua to start our new Worker Housing project. See above for details. 


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