The Guatemalan company Productos Valparaíso and its owner Fernando Jarquín, through its corporate social responsibility program, is helping schoolchildren from neighboring communities to continue with their studies. The whole purpose behind the program is to develop future leaders who will help foster development in the region after they graduate.
In the furtherance of its commitment to education, two years ago the company helped rebuild the Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta (Mixed Rural Official School), located in the Chuparral 1 Village, in the department of Chimaltenango, which was destroyed eight years ago by the Agatha storm.
Tropical storm Agatha was a catastrophic tropical cyclone that brought widespread floods to much of Central America in May of 2010. The storm resulted in the death of approximately 165 people in Guatemala, while 113 individuals were left missing by landslides, according to Guatemalan officials. Agatha caused over $1 billion in damages in the region.
Two years after the inauguration of the school, Productos Valparaíso and its CEO, Fernando Jarquín, met with students, parents, teachers and community members to celebrate the school. During the celebration, the company announced that it was giving 110 backpacks to students and seven Samsung tablets to teachers.
Each backpack contained notebooks, a ruler, and a bottle of cold silicone, one set of watercolors, a box of crayons, a box of wax crayons, scissors, pencils, pens, erasers, a sharpener and glue.
Productos Valparaíso also gave attendees a supply of Valparaíso products, including cow's milk and goat’s milk, assorted cheeses and handmade yogurts, which were manufactured in FJ Chichabac, one of the company’s production plants, located in Tecpan, in the Chimaltenango department.
Jarquín owns a number of properties that are used to manufacture Productos Valparaíso’s products. One of these properties is a traditional dairy farm in Cobán, Alta Verapaz, named “Finca Valparaíso”.
In 2012 Jarquín purchased Finca Valparaíso, located in the department of Alta Verapaz, from Harold Jongenzoon. Jongenzoon had bought the farm in 1993 from the farm's first owner, Cordell Andersen.
Andersen donated land to build the Cordell Andersen Morgan Mixed Rural School. Fernando Jarquín also supports this school by donating school supplies, soccer team uniforms, and structural improvements to the school's buildings. He is even recruited an Olympic athlete, Erick Barrondo, to give lectures to the school's students.
Finca Valparaíso has allocated 48 hectares to the conservation of the environment in Coban. Company executives indicate they expect that farm to soon reach 160 heads of cattle producing 2,880 liters of milk per day under high standards of stabling, breeding, feeding, and the application of modern technology, which will boost Producto Valparaíso’s dairy output.