CQI started work in Nicaragua with the Coffee Corps program and the CADR (Central American and Dominican Republic) program - funded by USAID. All aspects of the industry were worked on; roasters, baristas, cooperatives, production, and processing. Nicaragua was one of the first countries where Q graders began through the Star Cupper program.
CQI’s work reached a very high profile level in 2005 when the coffee Corps committee met with the country's president, Enrique Bolaños.
Since 2006, however, CQI has had limited work in Nicaragua. In 2010, a grant from the Dutch group SVC allowed Q training to take place, which raised the number of Q graders to 15 today. Several Nicaraguan Q graders have managed to stay calibrated by traveling to Guatemala and ACEN is still the in-country partner, but there is little activity. Like many Central American countries, coffee rust has been a serious problem over the last few years. Like many Central American countries, coffee rust has been a serious problem over the last few years.
CQI is currently working on a 3 year gender program in Nicaragua with PGE-Utz Nicaragua for Accelerating gender equity in coffee value chains collaboration with Utz in Nicaragua.
The SP Program aims to strengthen the capacity of farmers (especially smallholders and female farmers) and civil society organizations in producing countries to engage in issues that require sector-wide collaboration. PGE field-level projects build capacity of male and female farmers and organizations to engage with gender equity and become more influential leaders around this issue and others that affect their livelihoods. With lessons learned from the pilot in Nicaragua, we can extend our impact to the regional level, adapting our activities in Nicaragua to activities in Honduras and Guatemala for cooperation and capacity-building on a greater scale.