Young Entrepreneurs in Central America Building a Life at Home Instead of Leaving

Thousands of people every year leave Central America for the U.S. to escape poverty and a lack of prospects. But some young entrepreneurs are demonstrating that it is possible to find a future at home.
Coffee farmer Israel Rodríguez (right) hopes that he will one day be able to build a house.

Coffee farmer Israel Rodríguez (right) hopes that he will one day be able to build a house.

Foto: E. Cálix / FAO Honduras
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María Rebeca Pérez, 25, almost left Guatemala for the U.S. several years ago. Now, she runs a farm and has seven employees.

María Rebeca Pérez, 25, almost left Guatemala for the U.S. several years ago. Now, she runs a farm and has seven employees.

Foto: FAO Guatemala
Most people in Central America work in the gray economy - without social insurance and often with inadequate pay.

Most people in Central America work in the gray economy - without social insurance and often with inadequate pay.

Foto: Oswaldo Rivas / REUTERS
Coffee farmer Israel Rodríguez

Coffee farmer Israel Rodríguez

Foto: E. Cálix / FAO Honduras
A lot of coffee is grown in Guatemala, but there is a big difference between standard coffee and specialty coffees.

A lot of coffee is grown in Guatemala, but there is a big difference between standard coffee and specialty coffees.

Foto: Luis Soto / AP
María Cedillo Chávez, 22, hopes to become known as a coffee expert.

María Cedillo Chávez, 22, hopes to become known as a coffee expert.

Foto: FAO Guatemala
Vocational training and local networks can help small farmers escape poverty.

Vocational training and local networks can help small farmers escape poverty.

Foto: E. Cálix / FAO Honduras

This piece is part of the Global Societies series. The project runs for three years and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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