Just Haiti Coffee works with Kafe Devlopmen Barade (KDB) a coffee grower association with a membership of 100 families based in the region of Baraderes.
Baradères is located near the far end of the long peninsula stretching west from Port-au-Prince. The Baradères river flows north from its headwaters in the mountains that run the length of the peninsula. The river runs through Baradères—the region’s main population center. A mile or so past the town, the river enters the bay that connects to the Gulf of La Gonave.
Population of the Baradères region—the river valley, its surrounding mountains and a few smaller streams—is estimated at about 45,000. The region covers about 60 square miles. Mountain peaks rise from 1500 to 3000 feet above the valley. There is only one road from the outside, and it is passable only by high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicles.
The economy is totally based on subsistence farming, and coffee production occurs only within that context. In subsistence agriculture, farmers typically grow only enough food or other crops to feed the family.
Compared with most of Haiti, Baradéres retains considerable forest, water and soil resources that are potentially productive if farmed in a sustainable manner. Shade-grown coffee, because it keeps soil covered with vegetation in the highest reaches of life-giving watersheds, could play critical economic and environmental roles in helping the Baradéres region move towards economic self-sufficiency.
You can follow the river upstream (south) to its headwaters high above the tiny riverside settlement of Tête d’Eau, one of the coffee growing communities. Others are nearby, such as Vincendron, Leclerc, Maplate and Fond Tortue. These coffee-growing communities are within an area of roughly 80 square kilometers (30 square miles). This region only has one through road.
Click to read Gannon University's Melia Gasparre reflection on her recent visit to Carcasse.