The Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua is known in the cigar industry for its rich soil and highly sought-after tobacco, but what’s sometimes forgotten is the poverty of some of its inhabitants. ACE Prime co-founder Luciano Meirelles is seeking to help by creating the ACE Prime Foundation, a program to provide relief to impoverished families in the area.
“The cigar industry is so well-known for being unique in preserving tradition, quality and acting like a family. But the poverty in many communities involved in the process of cigarmaking breaks my heart,” Meirelles said in a press release.
When ACE Prime, owner of such brands such as Pichardo, Luciano and M.X.S., began expanding their operation and farming, Meirelles’ farming partner Yalila Fuentes introduced him to families in the Jalapa area that were in need.
Moved by what they encountered, the pair began providing basic food staples, clothes and medicine to local families, and worked with these families to rebuild homes that were destroyed by tropical storms and provide support to parents of children with special needs. The foundation is currently assisting 37 families.
The ACE Prime Foundation is also teaming up with Exodus Road (a non-governmental organization that has worked to combat human trafficking in various areas, including Latin America), to help raise funds. They have set a goal of raising $50,000 to buy food and to build a daycare center for special-needs children to provide the care they need while their parents are at work. ACE Prime will be matching the donations up to $25,000 or when the goal is reached.
For more information, please visit https://donate.onecause.com/relief.