Media CenterCRS Releases Photo of the Month April 2017

Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for CRS

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Anna Ruiz
Catholic Relief Services

(410) 951-7238

Our Call to Care for God’s Creations on Earth Day

BALTIMORE, MD, APRIL 4, 2017 –   The work of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is documented in a collection of over 124,000 photographs showing the compassion and expertise CRS brings to people in need around the world.  Each month we deliver a photo and short story from the CRS’ collection for use by Catholic media in print, digital and social media.

This month’s photo shows two young Guatemalan farmers who like their peers are fighting to keep their coffee crops growing despite erratic weather patterns and a disease called coffee leaf rust. Crops in some regions of Central and Latin America have been decimated leaving families without food and income to support their families.  CRS has a multi-pronged approach to strengthen these farmers ability to overcome these set-backs with sustainable farming techniques.  We honor those farmers and families affected by these challenges as we approach Earth Day and remember our call to care for God’s creations.

The date of distribution will be by the first Tuesday of every month.  The next “CRS photo of the month” will be distributed by Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

The collection of hi-res photos and captions in ENGLISH AND SPANISH for publications are found here:
password: photos

Photo Caption in English:

In April, we celebrate Earth Day and Pope Francis’ call for us to care for God’s creation. As stewards of the Earth, we must tend to it—and to each other—with love. Around the world, a new generation of farmers is emerging, like Juan Aranda and Victor Gómez in El Salvador, just 24 and 17 respectively. Although they are young, they are already facing some of the greatest environmental challenges in history—challenges like changing weather patterns and a leaf rust fungus that recently decimated coffee crops across Central and Latin America. With the help of 8,000 new coffee plants from Catholic Relief Services, the young men have begun rebuilding their family businesses. And to prevent similar setbacks in the future, CRS is teaching farmers how to conserve water, keep soil fertile and grow sturdier crops. To date, CRS’s coffee programs have spanned 20 projects in 15 countries, reaching an estimated 250,000 people. These include farmers like José Luis in Guatemala, who also lost his crop to leaf rust. “All of the coffee plants went down. It was everywhere. We were practically without food. When this happened, many friends left, they emigrated. They just left their work here,” José says. “But [now] we have done it. We feel encouraged because we see that [there] is a solution.”

Read more about Guatemala’s battle against coffee leaf rust. Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for CRS

Photo Caption in Spanish:

En abril, celebramos el Día de la Tierra y el llamado del Papa Francisco para que cuidemos de la creación de Dios. Como corresponsables de la Tierra, debemos tender a ella—y unos a otros—con amor. En todo el mundo, una nueva generación de agricultores está emergiendo, como Juan Aranda y Víctor Gómez en El Salvador, de sólo 24 y 17 años respectivamente. Aunque son jóvenes, ya están enfrentando algunos de los mayores desafíos ambientales de la historia—desafíos como el cambio de patrones climáticos y un hongo de la roya de la hoja que recientemente diezmó los cultivos de café en todo Centroamérica y América Latina. Con la ayuda de 8,000 nuevas plantas de café de Catholic Relief Services, los jóvenes han comenzado a reconstruir sus negocios familiares. Y para evitar contratiempos similares en el futuro, CRS está enseñando a los agricultores cómo conservar el agua, mantener el suelo fértil y cultivar cosechas más robustas. Hasta la fecha, los programas de café de CRS han abarcado 20 proyectos en 15 países, alcanzando un estimado de 250,000 personas. Entre ellos se encuentran agricultores como José Luis en Guatemala, que también perdió su cosecha por la roya de las hojas. “Todas las plantas de café se marchitaron. Estaba en todas partes. Estábamos prácticamente sin comida. Cuando esto sucedió, muchos amigos se fueron, emigraron. Simplemente dejaron su trabajo aquí”, dice José. “Pero [ahora] lo hemos logrado. Nos sentimos animados porque vemos que [hay] una solución”.

Lee más sobre la lucha de Guatemala contra la roya de la hoja del café. Foto de Oscar Leiva/Silverlight por CRS


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit or and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief@CRSnewsYouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Jim Stipe

Digital and Social Media Manager

Jim Stipe
April 4, 2017

Based in Baltimore, MD

As the digital and social media manager, Jim oversees Catholic Relief Services’ social media channels, shoots photos and video, and uses digital and visual tools for creative storytelling. He also manages the CRS Newswire, which provides a range of information related to poverty and development....More