The School That Coffee Built

Zykuta School - Sierra Nevada Region, Colombia - 2024 Phase 2 (COMPLETE)

Zykuta School - Sierra Nevada Region, Colombia - 2024 Phase 2 (COMPLETE)

The first phase of the Zykuta School involved two classrooms that underwent renovations, and new bathroom installation. However, since the outset of the project, a major issue that needed to be addressed was that for many students, their only meal in a day came from the school. With this in mind, creating a sustainable food source through a chicken coop, garden and improving the safety of the surrounding area became paramount. 

Funds were allocated for both seeds and materials needed to construct a garden plot and seeds were planted in a nursery setting. To help with this project, students are being instructed on how to nurture plants as they grow and are helping with the upkeep of the garden and nursery.

Sustainable Food Sources

A chicken coop was constructed to accommodate 60 chickens that produce 400 eggs per week.

Funds were allocated for both seeds and materials needed to construct a garden plot. The seeds the students are nurturing from the nursery are being planted in the new plot.

Both the nursery and garden plots are growing coriander, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, beans, chard and ayuhama. A maize field was also planted to support the nutrition of the students as well as to feed the chickens.

Coffee Plot

In order to establish a sustainable future, the school recognized the necessity for a consistent financial resource to support ongoing maintenance and be prepared for any unexpected challenges. To address this need, we developed a coffee plot with the intention of selling the harvested coffee beans, thereby generating a reliable source of income.

To begin this project, extensionists from FNC analyzed the soil, and chose the right variety of beans to grow.

The planting event involved many members of the community; including students, school staff, parents and more.


In no time at all, the garden and chicken coop began yielding remarkable results. The school's faculty observed a noticeable decrease in malnutrition due to the newfound sources of protein, fiber, and vitamins. 

This second phase of the Zykuta School project involved many community members that played a crucial role throughout all the stages; including labor and expertise. Parents and other members actively contributed to the project, making it a truly collaborative effort. Their involvement created a sense of ownership and pride in the community.

School attendance has increased from 60 to 125 students and two new teachers have been added to the staff!