About Us

Three Americas, Inc., is a nonprofit public benefit corporation. It is organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law of California for charitable purposes, specifically, to provide an educational and action organization which serves as a catalyst to link the people of the Americas through cooperative projects supporting social, environmental and economic justice.

Three Americas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law for charitable purposes and is not organized for the private gain of any person. Three Americas is funded with the sale of fairly-traded, organic, shade grown coffee, DVDs, and donations from individuals.

Our Founders

Bert and Lois Muhly started Three Americas in the 1980’s with a core group of volunteers and activists. Their work started with fact-finding trips to Nicaragua. Beginning in 1982, they visited Jinotepe, Nicaragua more than 25 times, where they became actively involved in projects for the empowerment of the Nicaraguan people. They personified the spirit of people-to-people exchanges, which reached across great distances to bind together those who would protect our environment and our most vulnerable citizens. This work is a wonderful example of what a few committed individuals can accomplish, even against long odds, when they work together.

Bert Muhly (Founder)

June 18, 1923 – December 16, 2011

Bert Muhly, former Mayor of the city of Santa Cruz, was an American politician, academic, planning practitioner and social activist. He spent twenty years as a practitioner and the remainder as a teacher in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) and the Graduate Planning Program of California State University, San Jose (CSUSJ).

Lois Muhly (Founder)

May 9, 1926 – August 10, 2015

Lois was an active member of Coalition for Nicaragua, Alliance for Children, Children’s Creative Response to Conflict, Women’s Democratic Club, People’s Democratic Club, Resource Center for Non-Violence and was also actively involved in local, state, and national politics. Lois and Bert became well-known selling Nicaraguan coffee at the Aptos Farmers Market on Saturdays during their “retirement years”.

Bert & Lois Muhly, 1982.

Bert Muhly and Bill Burtch load a truck bound for Nicaragua.

Bert, Lois, and their daughter Patricia staff the Three Americas booth at the Aptos Farmers Market.