About the Project
Why I’m Here:
Hey all! I am a Resolution Project Fellow (http://www.resolutionproject.org/) and the founder of El Charrizal Business Center in Honduras, and I recently got invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference in Berkeley, California. Unfortunately, CGIU does not pay for travel expenses so I’m here to fundraise to cover my airfare, transportation and lodging. Any money raised in addition to my travel expenses will go towards supporting my social venture, El Charrizal Business Center, a social venture focused on empowering farmers and creating jobs in El Charrizal, Honduras. Thank you in advance for your support!
Antonio Peralta- My Story from Idea to Impact in Honduras:
Thanks for learning more about my story! My name is Antonio Peralta, and I was born in Choluteca, Honduras where I grew up working with my family on farmland learning how to plant corn, beans, and how take care of cows. My parents worked hard on the farmland planting corn and beans to pay for my education.
In 2008, I went to the Choluteca city for high school, and I graduated in 2010 with a focus on business administration. In 2011, I got a scholarship with the Youth Ambassadors Program to come to the United States to develop my leadership skills. During this time I was inspired to create a social venture focused on helping farmers in my community, and ultimately created El Charrizal Business Center, an organization focused on helping farmers in Honduras (to date we have helped 20 farmers and are looking to help many more). After studying in the US, members of the American Embassy told me about the Seed Program. I applied, got accepted, received a scholarship and began my studies in August of 2012. I attended the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference in 2014 where I pitched El Charrizal Business Center in the Resolution Project Pitch Competition, and I won the Resolution Project Fellowship.
I returned to Honduras to continue developing El Charrizal Business Center, and I am fully dedicated to supporting the farmers of El Carrizal. At the same time, I take online College Courses through a school in the United States.
Help send me to the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference 2016!
As the founder of El Charrizal Business Center, I was recently invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference in Berkeley, CA from April 1-3, 2016. Although it is an exciting opportunity, they do not pay for travel, which is why I’m on FundProVo!
If you’re unfamiliar with the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference, in the past, Annual Meetings have brought together 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,400 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. What a conference to be part of! Being part of the CGIU will allow me to develop my leadership skills, learn from others, share ideas, promote El Charrizal Business Center and build my network to ensure further impact.
Although it is an exciting time to be invited to the CGIU Conference, unfortunately they do not cover travel expenses and I have to pay my way to the US and for housing and transportation, which is hard to do given that I am a student and also a social venture founder. The expenses will be around UD $1500-2000 to cover my airfare, transportation and lodging. Your sponsorship and support of this campaign would be unbelievably helpful and much appreciated.
Any money raised above the cost for airfare, transportation and lodging will go towards building a community center for El Charrizal Business Center, where we can store our seeds (as of right now we store seeds in my family’s home) and hold meetings focused on helping farmers develop their farming techniques and business skills.
If you’re interested in donating please do so! If you’re interested in hearing more about El Charrizal Business Center, please keep reading!
Building El Charrizal Business Center:
One of the biggest challenges in my town of El Charrizal and other parts of Honduras is a severe lack of money. El Carrizal, Namasigue, Honduras is a small community of about 300 people, all of who are farmers who survive by planting corn, beans, tomato, rice, onions and potatoes. We are very blessed to have good land for agriculture, but unfortunately we do not have basic infrastructure like electricity or buses for transportation and poverty is normal. I love my community, and ever since high school, I have been trying to discover why our area is so poor given that the farmers in my community are extremely hardworking yet cannot make ends meet. I have always asked myself, why don’t we have electricity and streets? Why don’t teenagers go to high school?
A few years back I stopped asking questions and started looking for answers. I realized that we had to stop expecting help from the government and instead work to create our own jobs in the community. The biggest issue I looked to tackle was the lack of opportunity to work. If farmers have jobs in the community they can make enough to support their family and hopefully send their children to school. Currently, some farmers go to others places in Honduras, such as San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, and Olancho to find jobs but sometimes they cannot find jobs there either. Even people who have studied are unemployed. Further, even the farmers who do know how to plant vegetables cannot work some of the time because they do not have basic resources like seeds, tools and fertilizer. The few that do have the opportunity to work, usually do not know how to sell their produce or how to manage their crops. I believe that change occurs when someone in the community takes a stand, which is why I created El Carrizal Business Center, a community organization focused on empowering farmers and creating jobs in my community.
El Charrizal Business Center, first and foremost is focused on creating opportunities and jobs. Corn, beans, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, and onions are important staples in many developing countries in Central America, so we are using farming as a way to develop business skills. Getting people involved in small businesses is key to developing economically.
To date, we have had 20 farmers go through our program through the last two seasons/harvests. We provided the farmers with the resources they needed to plant their vegetables, and they also attended a seminar to learn about important farming techniques, and about developing their produce. At the end of the season, the farmers used their produce to feed their families and they also sold part of their remaining produce to El Charrizal Business Center (which then sold the produce in big cities in Honduras). Over the next few years, we are looking expand our scope to include more farmers in our program.
The big impact we hope to achieve with El Carrizal Business Center includes developing a group of farmers that can provide food, education and better health for their families. By having farmers working on the land, fewer will be involved with drugs and alcohol. To have a developing community requires hard work, persistence, entrepreneurship, and leadership, which we hope El Charrizal Business Center can provide. Our first group consisted of 10 men and 10 women farmers, and we hope to expand. Any additional funds raised in this campaign will go towards building a community house where we can store produce and hold our meetings.
I have a hope that 7 years from now the farmers in my community will have better lives and be able to provide food, education and health to their families. I imagine 10 years from now being a success story that others can learn from and build their own organizations in their own communities.
Want to Learn More:
We would love to keep you posted on El Charrizal Business Center! If you’re interested in learning more or have any questions about this campaign or El Carrizal Business Center, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.