We are excited to announce that Spartan Global is planning to a research trip to our field partner in Guatemala, As Green As It Gets, from December 27, 2017 to January 5, 2018! This will be the first time any Spartan Global student, both past and present, will visit one of our field partners. Read more below to find out what we will be doing while abroad, the benefit this will provide to students, how this will positively impact Spartan Global, and how you can help support us.
Since October 2016, Spartan Global has facilitated $4,300 in microloans to several entrepreneurs to our field partner in Guatemala, As Green As It Gets. These loans have been used as a capital investment for business owners specializing in coffee farming, coffee processing and roasting, and metalworking.
Given the global nature of our work, it is easy to feel detached from our loan recipients and the impact of our work. We understand our impact, yet, it can be difficult to see the tangible results of our loans. This research trip will allow the ten student members of Spartan Global participating to engage directly with these recent microloan recipients in Guatemala and gain on-the-ground exposure to microfinance. Ultimately, this will advance the education of trip participants. With the help of the Eli Broad College of Business, a documentary will be produced afterwards chronicling Spartan Global student experiences abroad.
During our time in Guatemala, we will have the opportunity to participate in various research and engagement activities:
Homestays with local artisans and farmers where students will partake in daily cultural cooking lessons.
Visit coffee fields to harvest coffee with farmers Jonny and Alberto Hernandez who received a $1,378 loan from SGDF in June 2017 to understand coffee growing and harvesting processes.
Learn how to roast coffee with Victor Catavi to see how a SGDF loan has impacted his business. Victor received a $1,500 loan in October 2016 to purchase a coffee roaster and other equipment. He has since seen a profit growth of 240% of the value of the loan.
Meet with Carlos Diaz, a local metal artisan, who was given a $1,100 loan in June 2017 to grow his metalworking business. Students will have the chance to see Carlos' progress thus far and experience a day-in-the-life while working alongside Carlos in his shop.
Tour textile markets in Antigua, Guatemala to engage with weavers, producers, and exporters. This will give participants insider access and perspectives into one of the country's largest industries.
Interview loan recipients about the impacts of Spartan Global microloans on their businesses and how this has then changed their livelihoods, the financial standing of their families, and how the community has benefited.
Spartan Global students will also be able to network and have round-table discussions with other economic development leaders in the area to learn more about the challenges and opportunities associated with microfinance and sustainable economic development.
Spartan Global is working with our partner, As Green As It Gets, to coordinate all aspects of our research trip. It will cost $1,000 per student to cover the following*:
- All meals
- Homestays with local artisans
- Costs related to program activities
- Transportation costs while in Guatemala
*This cost does not include airfare - plane tickets are each student's responsibility.
Why sponsor us?
Your support will allow members to gain a holistic, on-the-ground perspective of the microfinance process. Sponsoring this microfinance exposure and engagement research trip will contribute to the educational advancement of students while simultaneously supporting Spartan Global in its mission of finding permanent solutions to global poverty through relationship building with our field partner, As Green As It Gets.
While in Guatemala, Spartan Global students will also be filming their daily activities, interviewing microloan recipients, and providing feedback about experiences. With the help of the Eli Broad College of Business videographer, Zach Hall, a short documentary will be produced. Afterwards, our video will be circulated to our donors and through university channels to showcase how the work of Spartan Global encapsulates a "Spartans Will" to take on complex global issues.
In short, sponsoring this trip will provide Spartan Global students with an invaluable opportunity to directly engage with entrepreneurs whose lives and businesses have been transformed after receiving a microloan from Spartan Global. In addition, any donation to this registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit is tax deductible to the extent of the law.
how you can help
In partnership with Michigan State University, Spartan Global has established a CrowdPower fundraising page to help support our research trip to Guatemala. If you are interested in financially sponsoring us, please click here or click below. We are deeply grateful for any donation. Additionally, any amount given through our CrowdPower page is considered a gift to the university, and is tax deductible.