The average family in El Jute makes approximately $112 USD a month. About 10% of community members work in the community’s municipality, Teupasenti, as teachers, gas station attendants, market clerks, and assistants. Due to the community’s location, the majority of the community members are coffee farmers. Coffee is grown on family owned land; although their work is not limited to their own land. When the coffee harvest is complete about 60% of the community members grow corn and beans.
El Jute now has a flourshing Community Bank, establsihed with GB’s support, that provides loan and savings services to community members. In March 2016, El Jute’s tilapia farm microenterprise was established with the help of brigade volunteers, GB staff, and the Higher Quest Foundation. The tilapia farm was selected because it promised to create employment, increase the intake of protein in the community’s diet, and fulfill a market demand. Brigaders aided the community with a business plan and market research. Many community members had their first taste of fresh fish when UK brigaders prepared tilapia at the compound and brought some tasters to the community. The opportunity to have access to fresh fish has brought excitement to the leaders and community members. The business owners received administrative training from the GB Business team and additional training from led by a tilapia expert. Traininig topics included: growth cycles of the tilapia, feeding, marketing, sales, supply chain, and finances. In October the farm’s first harvest 700 lbs. of fish and was sold for over $1,200, which will be reinvested in the business.