Featured Coffee Farmer: Yuri Mireya Ledezma Baos
Yuri Mireya Ledezma Baos has been a member of Asociacion Nuevo Futuro since 2014 and became a Food Security Community Promoter in 2015. She and her husband, Hugo Antonio Rodriguez, manage their coffee farm and vegetable gardens.
Yuri and Hugo have two beautiful daughters - Breiner Rodriguez Ledezma, and their new daughter, Dari Saried Rodriguez Ledezma, who was born in July 2018. Hugo is also a driver for a local transportation company. Hugo's father, Hugo Antonio Rodriguez Sr., also lives on the property and helps contribute to the success of this impressive coffee farm.
Yuri's farm has been considered a "flagship" farm and teaching center for many other members of Nuevo Futuro, whose mission includes helping coffee farmers build long-term food security through home gardens, water management systems, and organic composting for healthy soil. As a Community Promoter, Yuri trains farming families on basic food security concepts, like balanced diets, and helps them re-connect with their food heritage by bringing back traditional crops and recipes. Coffee farmers are now planting, growing, harvesting, and cooking a variety of organic vegetables, both for their consumption and to sell during the months after their coffee beans are harvested and their income runs out. In addition to their gardens, Yuri's farm also has macadamia trees, sugar cane, guava, plantain trees, citrus trees, avocados, lemons, and much more! They have taken thew extra step to grow organic produce, which has improved their family's diet even further.
Other notable improvements include fencing and plastic to manage their farm animals and keep them out of the vegetable garden, and bins to capture and use scarce rain water. To date, they have participated in two farmers markets, sharing the healthy fruits and vegetables they have grown. With these new gardens to supplement their income during the "thin months" of seasonal food insecurity that has plagued this community for decades, Yuri and her family have saved about 24% on food costs after just 1 year.
Yuri is taking maternity leave to care for her newborn daughter, but plans to return as soon as possible. She told us she loves being a food security community promoter because she's learning new skills and helping her community.