A few months have passed since we have provided an update on the coffee mission project in partnership with Jubala Village Coffee. Since that time, we have traveled to New York City and Boston and back in order to meet with leaders of the international coffee community. We may have been a little naive (read: wow, were we incredibly naive!) to think we could pick up our passports and simply “go to origin.” We learned we needed to take some time to research the existing structure of how coffee is grown, bought, and distributed. Along the way, we met with some truly inspiring people and organizations. Stories shared by roasters and non-profits alike only fueled our fire and confirmed that what we were working towards could make a difference.
The coffee mission, as it stands now, will include at least two editions of coffee.
For the first edition, we are committing to the Café Femenino Foundation to purchase coffee from one of the women-run cooperatives they support. The foundation works to create gender equality in coffee growing communities around the world where women traditionally struggle. The foundation began in Peru where the women who represented the farms asked if they could be paid directly for the coffee they produced. We are proud to partner with this organization and with these amazing women. We’ll be purchasing our first edition of coffee from Café Femenino’s Nahuala Co-op near Quetzaltenango, Guatemala later this summer. If you would like to learn more about the Café Femenino Foundation, you can visit their site here.
The second edition of the coffee mission is still a work-in-progress. We leave for Guatemala in 4 days with members of our Ekklesia church family. During our week long stay, Josh and I will divide our time between La Limonada and a 3-day scouting trip on coffee farm(s) in and around the Antigua region. We plan to visit the farms, talk with the growers, and cup their coffees in an effort to find the right fit for the second edition of the project. We are so eager to get to Guatemala and meet the people we’ve been communicating with, to hug our sponsored child, and to make steady progress in the coffee mission. Guatemala has completely won over our hearts and we have not yet set foot on the soil! We pray and we trust that God will lead us to the right coffee farm(s) for this project. Farmers who need support to raise their production practices so they can earn more for their hard work. Farmers who can take pride knowing their work will ultimately go towards improving the lives of their fellow Guatemalans in La Limonada.
In addition to the coffee mission project, we have been gathering footage and interviews for our documentary film, Coffee for Lemonade. I’m told that documentary filmmakers take months researching their subject before they even crack open a lense cap. I’m told that there are pre-production meetings followed by more pre-production meetings. That sounds nice… When all of the time lines for the coffee mission project went from the “What If” stage to the “Grab Your Passport” stage at breakneck pace, we arrived at the same staggering thought: “If we don’t grab our cameras and go, we’ll never get to tell this story.” So the last few months have been filled with insane schedules and half-finished sentences, and research on coffee as well as beautiful Guatemala. My bedside table has more books on filmmaking, coffee production and Guatemala than I could ever consume. Josh finishes his full day of work and begins researching sound equipment and editing formats. We are crazed, but we are fully aware that this is a blessed and purpose-filled time in our life.
Very soon, you can sip some excellent Guatemalan coffee knowing the narrative behind that cup of coffee is as rich and complex as the coffee itself. Tell your neighbors, tell your co-workers, tell your family–they are going to want in on this! There is good coffee and then there is great coffee with a great purpose.
-Josh and Amy Allen