Pronica is a foundation, started by Sasja van Horssen, the largest independent cigar importer in The Netherlands. A few years ago Van Horssen hosted a dinner with Juan Martinez from Joya de Nicaragua at his shop Van Dalen Cigars in Rotterdam. We were invited too. Martinez told Van Horssen about the charity done by Joya de Nicaragua and most of the other cigar manufacturers. When Van Horssen learned that the cost of sending a child to school for a year is approximately 100 euro, he instantly said ‘I often eat the value of five or six children away at a fancy restaurant’ and proclaimed he would come up with a way to support a project in Nicaragua.

Van Horssen then founded Pronica, and with the help of Joya de Nicaragua, Pronica found a worthy cause. Fe y Alegria is a school in Esteli that provides education for the poorest families. They offer lunch and most of the times that lunch is the only meal of the day for the children. Van Horssen decided to donate 10 dollar cent of every Nicaraguan cigar he sold as a distributor to Pronica. In the years to follow Royal Agio donated to the cause and J. Cortes (now the owner of Oliva Cigars) joined the Pronica movement too. Pronica won the Cigarjournal award for charity this year at the Intertabac trade show.

Last year, Peter Gerretsen, who works at the renowned De Oude Tijd tobacco shop in Utrecht wanted to chip in too. With one of his friends, Thijs Schoevaars, from Het Jonge Heren Sigarengenootschap, a cigar society for gentlemen under the age of 30, he decided to run the quarter marathon of Rotterdam and have sponsors donate to Pronica. They raised $1750 and with that, they provided education for fourteen children for a year.

This year they will run again, again the quarter marathon of Rotterdam, and Sander Jellema will join them. Nicaragua needs more help than ever, with the protest, riots, the killing of innocent people and the aggression of the suppressive Ortega government. Ministry of Cigars applauds Peter, Sander, and Thijs for running for a good cause on April 7th, 2019. Ministry of Cigars will certainly sponsor them, and we hope so will you. By clicking here you can add yourself to the list of sponsors. If you wish to donate but can’t due to the limited payment options the website offers, contact Peter on messenger.