Field Notes



Plantains abound at the Aldea El Socorro farm in Guatemala. The trees are heavy with ripe plantains, as they’re almost ready for harvest. It’s not a small operation — more than 25,000 trees dot the landscape, with over 1 million plantains ready for harvest.

It takes several farmers to tend and care for the crops, between day-to-day laborers working the fields, to those managing them, and others charged with securing buyers. Three of these key workers at Aldea El Socorro are, (from left), Francis, Julio and Hugo. Francis is our sustainability coordinator in Guatemala. He engages with potential wholesale buyers — all major produce distributors in Guatemala — for the plantains and is currently negotiating between multiple bids!

A buyer will purchase the plantains while they’re still on the tree. After that, the crop is out of farmers’ hands. The buyer is responsible for harvesting and transporting the plantains for sale in markets and supermarkets, where they’ll soon be in the hands of many more people — plantains are a staple of Guatemalan cooking and many eat them for breakfast and dinner.

This is Impact Investing in action: A plantain hanging on a tree doesn’t amount to much on its own. But Horizon is working with farmers and businesses to leverage these humble plantains for a profit. Though it’s not the profit we’re after, either — it’s the way we use it in pursuit of orphan-care excellence.