About Us

Community Agroecology Network (CAN) is an international organization actively working in eight regions of Mexico and Central America. We confront social, economic, and environmental injustice through research, education, and action. CAN partners with community-based organizations, farmers’ cooperatives, nonprofits, and universities to generate local approaches to sustainable development. Our programs promote:

  • Agroecological farming practices that produce healthy food and healthy environments
  • Food security to end seasonal hunger
  • Alternative trade models that foster direct relationships between producers and consumers ensuring a fair price for farmers
  • Youth empowerment so that the next generation has the knowledge, skills, and opportunity to reduce hunger


In 2001 during the height of the coffee crisis, founders Dr. Stephen Gliessman and Robbie Jaffe traveled to five farming communities in Central America and Mexico. Four of the communities depended on the coffee market to support their livelihoods. For them, the consequences of the coffee crisis were dire. Migration, deforestation, and hunger threatened the fabric of rural life. Recognizing that these difficulties were better confronted together, CAN was founded to link farming communities throughout the region and consumers in the United States. From the first few pounds of coffee brought back to friends and family grew a network of consumers purchasing coffee directly from the farmers.

References (click to expand)


Agroecology [http://agroecology.org]

This website is an information resource for developing sustainable food systems, emphasizing training, research, and application of agroecological science to solving real world problems.

Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group

Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group [http://www.uvm.edu/~emendez/]

The research and teaching efforts of this group at the University of Vermont focus on developing and applying interdisciplinary approaches that analyze interactions among agriculture, livelihoods, and environmental conservation in tropical and temperate rural landscapes.  Most of this work also uses a Participatory Action Research approach (PAR).

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