Meet Diego, Youth Entrepreneur

Business owner. College student. Innovator. Intern. At just 17 years old, Diego has accomplished more than many twice his age – and he’s just getting started.

Diego was born in Buena Vista, a tiny rural community several miles outside of the mountain village of Las Sabanas, Nicaragua. Fabretto’s rural secondary education program (SAT) gave him the opportunity to continue his education beyond sixth grade, and in December 2014, he finished his high school degree.

When asked what he liked best about the program, Diego said, “The methodology and the way we learn. Going to high school with Fabretto totally changes your life.” In fact, Diego can remember that life-changing moment: it was two years ago, when his Fabretto tutor started the spark of an idea that would become his business.

In rural Nicaragua, there are few opportunities for gainful employment; through lessons in business development, Fabretto’s program teaches youth how to create their own economic opportunities. As a class project, Diego and his classmates set up a small project processing and selling coffee and “Café el Sabanero” was born. Diego and one of his classmates, Darwin, decided to continue the initiative. They have successfully grown their business by selling coffee in small portions at affordable prices and today maintain a small store in the community.

Since his graduation in December, Diego has been busy balancing his coffee business with other pursuits. He passed the public university exams and, with a scholarship from Fabretto, began to study Business Administration in Somoto. He just began an internship at the nearby 5 de Junio Coffee Cooperative to learn more about cultivating coffee. He also has a side project growing strawberries, and he helped his family establish a mini-corner store in their home.

It all began in the classroom; through his Fabretto class, Diego saw the possibilities for his future and acquired the knowledge he needed to succeed. Youth like Diego are the future of rural Nicaragua. His Fabretto tutor, Danys, summed it up best: “Diego has become a true entrepreneur.”


“Our goal is to be independent. When we started our [bakery] business, we said, we want to do everything ourselves… it’s been hard for me to continue my education as a mother, but it’s worth the effort.”
--Marbely, a young woman in her final year of the SAT program, describing the bakery business that her tutor, Josseling, helped her class create. She is the mother of an 18-month-old son and will graduate from high school in December 2015.

Marbely and her SAT class