A loan of $5,000 helped finish water harvesting and irrigation system invest in materials & tools.

José's story

I grew up in the rural municipality of Corozal, Puerto Rico. Corozal, still considered the plantain capital of the country, was an agricultural powerhouse at its prime and in a period of my childhood.

From sweet potatoes, plantains, bananas, yautías, recao, everything grew well in the fertile lands of "El Valle de Cibuco" (the valley of Cibuco) and some other places more to the south produced eggs, chicken, dairy. In the main town there even was a "bonafide" slaughterhouse for meat production.

When young, I was part of the 4H club that represented my town in different agricultural competitions and received a variety of educational seminars around the island. I think we even brought home some awards in the farinaceous and poultry categories.

Corozal is also home of one of the agricultural research stations part of the University of Puerto Rico. There, resistant and high yielding varieties of different cultivars and animals, are still being bred and studied. The results are shared with the farmers and people in general o so they can have the seeds and techniques to be “successful” in their farming businesses. (Sadly historically using conventional agricultural practices)

With the post-industrialization of Puerto Rico and the proliferation of fast food establishments together with multinational mega stores that imported everything, almost all the agricultural land ended in the hands of unscrupulous people for building what became part of the eventual housing bubble.

I remember visiting those majestic farms in my childhood, my relatives, grandparents most had something growing, coffee, pigs, goats, guineafowls among other animals. My grandmother cooked with wood in "el fogón" (firepit). All of those great memories remained dormant.

Now in those once majestic lands are monstrous housing complexes.

I grew up to become an IT guy. I worked in the banking sector, traveled different places in the world doing consulting work. But once I became a dad of two beautiful boys, something changed. I needed to be closer to them, to listen to them, learn from them.

Help them grasp that this reality is not what it used to be. I needed them to feel empathy for others, to be sensible human beings.

Remind them that in a society of full of hyper-consumption we can be creators, doers and self reliant returning to our origins, respecting Nature.

In Corozal, I was the first to create a local WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) to serve broadband Internet to our rural areas, since only dial-up (very slow!) was available at the time.

With that I fulfilled the need to be close to my kids and also helped the community by offering them their first glimpse of what today is almost ubiquitous, high speed access to information.

Some personal setbacks later I now return to the land a full time farmer, tinkerer and devoted father.

This loan is special because:

It helps grow a sustainable cacao farm that supports and empowers its local economy.

Loan details

About Yabisi Kakaw

Industry: Agriculture
Years in operation: 1 year - 3 years
Website: cacao.farm


Lenders and lending teams

Loan details