The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on October 15, 2008 and was established by the United Nations to recognize the critical contributions of rural women. This year, surrounded by the aroma of fresh coffee and the sights of cacao beans, the tireless women of the Costa Rica Chapter of the International Women Coffee Alliance (IWCA), along with the valuable cooperation of CoopeTarrazu, the Department of Agriculture (MAG) and the National Center for Women (INAMU), hosted the first ever Fair to celebrate the Rural Women's International Day in Costa Rica.
Honored by the presence of more than 30 women farmers, representing communities from nearby Tarrazu, Perez Zeledon, and as far as Monteverde, Talamanca and Limon, these special women shared their farming experiences and lifted each others spirit with the solidarity that can only be found among women farmers.
Attendees heard stories of backbreaking work and sacrifice. From fishing, to coffee, and cacao farming the CoopeTarrazu warehouse was transformed into a showroom filled with the fruit of women’s labor. Over 25 stands were present offering single origin coffees, hand made chocolates, farmer’s raincoats, aprons, leather, recycled artisan crafts, natural beauty products, and delicious recipes made with coffee and organic chocolate ingredients. The weekend celebration was a clear display of the undeniable spirit of entrepreneurship and strength of women.
The (IWCA- Costa Rica Chapter) is proud to support women farmers, and to advocate for gender equality and work opportunities. Aside from their own coffee brand, Women’s Harvest, perhaps their most important achievement thus far was the creation of an International Certification designed to empower women, Women Care Certified. This past weekend, CoopeTarrazu, one of the most progressive and successful cooperatives in Costa Rica, with over 1500 women members, recognized the efforts of the Alliance and the importance of Women Care Certified by committing to become the first Cooperative to be certified in the country. This is a remarkable step towards guaranteeing a gender equity policy and the empowerment of the women in this cooperative. Along with the recent signing of the CoagroNevada cooperative in Colombia, the Certification is gaining momentum.