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Challenging poverty in Guatemala

US: Chiquita and Cooperative for Education partner

Cincinnati-based nonprofit Cooperative for Education (CoEd) recently received international support in the form of a prestigious grant from Chiquita Brands.

The $20,000 grant will support the organization’s Guatemala Textbook Program, bringing first-ever textbooks to more than 1,000 youths in rural Guatemala. Residents of the Cincinnati area and beyond have the opportunity to see the program in action and meet the youths who will benefit from the grant through service trips conducted by CoEd every February and August.

"Chiquita is proud to support the Cooperative for Education and their efforts to elevate the quality of education in Guatemala," said Manuel Rodriguez, Chiquita chief corporate responsibility officer and senior vice president, government and international affairs. "Giving back to the communities in which we operate is just as important as the quality of our products."

Cooperative for Education Co-Founder and Executive Director Joe Berninger expressed heartfelt thanks, saying, "We are honored our program has been chosen for this grant among so many organizations that help underserved communities in Latin America. With the support of socially-conscious groups such as Chiquita and numerous individuals committed to our cause, we will one day achieve our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education."

Since its founding in 1996 by two Xavier University graduates, Cooperative for Education has provided textbooks, computers, and scholarships to more than 100,000 underprivileged children in Guatemala. The organization has also trained more than 400 rural Guatemalan teachers and provided international service opportunities for individuals throughout the U.S., Canada, and other countries through Project Tours. CoEd has offices in both Cincinnati and Guatemala City.

Chiquita is committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR) that extends beyond its banana farms and into the communities where employees live. The Company’s CSR efforts across Guatemala continue to be focused on natural disaster assistance, education and housing providing for flood recovery, school supplies and home ownership opportunities for Guatemalan employees. For example, with the most recent collective bargaining agreement signed between Chiquita and its Guatemala-based trade unions, the Company is able to further its education-based efforts by providing a scholarship program that features 55 school scholarships during the 10-month school period and school uniforms and supplies to 1,850 children of employees.

For more information about CoEd, please visit

For more information:
Tiffany Breaux
Tel: +1 (980) 636-5029


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