Mesoamerican Development Institute

A nonprofit organization

16 donors

Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI) is a nongovernmental organization with offices in Honduras and Lowell, Massachusetts. MDI specializes in technology transfer and market development; we introduce renewable energy innovations for agro-productive industry to reduce costs and restore environments in rural Mesoamerica. 

We are working with the Honduran and US Forest Services and a wide range of public/private partnerships in a holistic approach to rural sustainable development called the Yoro Biological Corridor Initiative.

Key components and milestones for the program to date include: 

  • The first commercial demonstration of the purchase of carbon offsets made possible by small coffee producers adopting MDI’s  forest-friendly coffee production method called Integrated Open Canopy ™  in combination with coffee processing using off-grid, industrial-scale renewable energy technology. 
  • The successful export of Café Solar® for five annual harvests--coffee processed using MDI’s patented renewable energy technology to growing markets in Sweden, Canada, Ireland, and the United States (Chile and Australia are targeted for next harvest). 
  • The creation of a highly-skilled local workforce (youth) trained in vegetation surveys and mapping for carbon accounting, and biodiversity measurements through surveys of the Golden-Winged Warbler (our indicator species of the condition of forest habitat).
  • The creation of a highly-skilled local workforce (youth) in the operation and maintenance of an off-grid factory using solar and biofuels to produce coffee of quality and certification characteristics for a wide range of international clients.  
  • Leading the incorporation of the Yoro Biological Corridor, a region of coffee production that connects ten threatened protected areas and national parks .

Our technologies and methods are designed to reduce the impact of coffee production on forests and local water resources.  Expanding coffee production is the primary threat to cloud forests and national parks in Honduras, and conventional coffee processing using firewood from tropical forests has been declared an “environmental emergency” by the Costa Rican Coffee Institute(2013). 

We are currently working with our local team of biologists to establish the Yoro Biological Corridor with the Honduran Forest, Park, and Wildlife services and the mayors and governor of the 32 municipalities of the Corridor. 

The scale-up of the Yoro Biological Corridor includes the creation of an carbon-neutral processing factory, for which 70% of the financing is in place. Our organization is partnered with a network of universities to support the development of a carbon trading program that allows the sale of high-quality carbon offsets from coffee farmers that are conserving forest habitat on their farms.

The Yoro Biological Corridor is endorsed by a wide range of public and private partners including:

·        National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH)

·        The Institute for Forest Conservation (ICF) (Honduran Central

·        The National Electric Generation Company (ENEE)

·        The National Council for Sustainable Development (CONADES)

·        The Ministry of Finance

·        The President’s Office on Climate Change

·        The Mayors and Governor of the Department of Yoro, supporting the
Co-Management of Pico Pijol National Park and the Yoro Biological

·        The US Forest Service (Department of Agriculture)

·        The US Fish & Wildlife Service (Department of Interior)

·        The University of Massachusetts

·        Cornell University

·        The American Bird Conservancy

·        International Partners in Flight

·        The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat

·        The Massachusetts Congressional Delegation

·        Organized fair trade coffee producer

·        Coffee importers/distributors in Europe, Canada, and the US

Organization Data


Organization name

Mesoamerican Development Institute

Tax id (EIN)



Environment International Economic Development




508 714 1769

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