Here's our philosophy:
We understand that most people want to be productive and self-sustaining, but simply lack the training and resources to do so.
We facilitate the development of sustainable businesses from conception to completion. From training woodworkers, to teaching sustainable techniques to farmers, we look for any opportunity to develop the Dominican economy.
Here's a summary of what we're working on:
Microfinance is a term to describe financial services (such as small loans) to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to banking services. The idea behind microfinance is that low-income individuals are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty if given access to financial services.
ACES is sponsoring several such projects at the moment. We're always looking for exceptional Dominican social enterprises to fund, as well as investors to to increase our investment pool.
Triple Ozama Project: As part of our effort to develop sustainable businesses, we've revitalized several abandoned greenhouses in the Triple Ozama region. This project is being led by a group of woman who will be growing passion fruit and yucca with the support of their community.
Coffee Plantation Development
Far up a mountainous dirt and rock road riddled with potholes lies our biggest project and the community of El Naranjito’s best opportunity to pull itself out of poverty through diligent and persistent hard work.
Those knowledgeable about coffee production know that the Roya fungus has destroyed much of the coffee trees in Central and South America. El Naranjito is no exception to this, with many of its coffee trees hit by this terrible disease. While recognizing it as the incredible setback that it is, ACES is working hard to make it an incredible opportunity for local Dominicans.
Through collaboration with Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters, the Lycoming College, and Cultivation to Cup, ACES is helping to train these farmers on improved organic growing methods to efficiently produce the best possible coffee. Farmers will realize a truly fair trade value for their efforts by improving the quality and yield of their crops.
Already, the coffee farmers are investing in Roya-resistant seedlings (shown above) to replace damaged plants, and are learning about organic fertilizer to improve their production. And with some help from the Dominican government, co-operatives of coffee farmers are investing in improved processing equipment that will increase their coffee’s value.