The La Chocolatada Team from the USA traveled in Peru for two weeks in December bringing a little Christmas cheer to several communities, participating in leadership training workshops and visiting projects funded through the Café Femenino Foundation.
First Stop ExpoCafe, Lima
Our first stop was to visit Paula, Erlita, Diana and Gonzalo, the Café Femenino Peru team, at their booth at the ExpoCafe in Lima, Peru. Their goals to share the story of Café Femenino, work of the Foundation as well as increase Café Femenino Coffee sales within Peru.
XVIII Café Femenino Women’s Encounter – December, 2022
Last year, due to the ongoing Covid concerns, we held an Encounter outside with just a small group of women coffee producers, but 2022 was the first official Café Femenino Women’s Encounter since December, 2019. The women meet annually to share grant progress updates with the Café Femenino Foundation, work together to write their project hopes and dreams for the upcoming year and then they present them to us at the end of the meeting. During the meeting several of the women shared their stories of how their lives have changed since the Café Femenino Program started in 2004 as well as the impact the completed projects have made on their lives and the lives of other coffee producers in their community.
Women’s Empowerment & Leadership Workshop in Cococho
Earlier this year Bewley’s Coffee & Tea, Dublin, Ireland, funded a series of leadership workshop to take place during the next year in Lambayeque, Cajamarca and the Amazonas. These workshops aims to further empower the women coffee producers in Peru as they know more about their rights, develop their skills and talents, as well as learn production and management abilities that allow more women to actively participate in decision-making.
This workshop in Cococho was attended by 50+ women from communities in the surrounding areas. The women rode a bus, and in some cases, walked to participate in this three hour workshop that focused on self-esteem and the importance of being “UNITED” as a women leaders. United in:
VALUES: acting together with principles of honesty, teamwork and transparency, striving every day to carry out the best possible work and contribution, collaborating with each other to achieve the best results;
UNION: working as a team in an organized way; providing support and mutual support in the face of challenges, to achieve a common goal that unites
EMPOWERMENT: recognizing their unique value as people, making it visible through our best personal contribution to the association.
There was a lot of participation in the sharing of information as well as participation the role-play exercises the women were asked to participate in. The last exercise was to put their finger print on the tree symbolizing the unity that they share.
To find more about this grant, click here.
Young Adult Product Development & Management Training in San Antonio
We were able to meet the young adults participating in this three-year training program that was funded by Kerry Global. The objective of the program is to train young adults to be able to produce and manage the farms they were raised on. The pandemic generated by COVID-19, makes us look at the rural sector with hope, the countryside did not stop supplying the cities with food or products such as coffee to the world. Originally the project was designed to encourage those who retreated from the cities to the rural communities to stay, however, the world reopened and many returned to their city lives. The program was modified to incorporate the training modules into the high school curriculum and will be taught to students in the last three years of school. Most of students we visited with wanted to be able to attend University in the city not one of them in this class could see that it would be an option for them. For these students this training will give them information that will serve them well as they move forward creating a better life in the community where they were raised, giving them information and resources that will allow them to continue the family coffee business improving the quality and their income.
For more grant details click here.
Machucara Early Education Center Promotion
Annually the Café Femenino Foundation with the support from Café Femenino Roasters such as Silver Bridge Coffee and Saw Dog Coffee fund fifteen (15) Early Education Centers (EEC). This program is to monitor and reduce incidents of malnutrition in the remote coffee communities of Peru. Each EEC is visited twice a year by a nurse who takes the height and weight of each child and spends time educating parents, teachers and children on foods that are available to them that will provide the much needed protein and balanced diet to reduce malnutrition. Over the last 20 years the program has made an impact on the overall health of the children. However, with the availability of convenience foods they are now seeing some incidences of obesity.
One community with an Early Education Center is Machucara and they held an Early Education Center Promotion (graduation) during our visit. Not all Early Education Centers have formal graduation celebrations because they are funded by the parents and the community, but Machucara held a grand celebration for the 12 students that had attended the Early Education Center and will be moving on the primary school when school starts up again at the beginning of the school year. In Peru, summer break starts the middle of December and they will start classes again in two months. I had the honor of being the “Godmother” and was asked to present the diploma and provided a small gift, including a cake with their name, from the Café Femenino Foundation to each child. The parents also gave gifts to their child, this year they received blankets. It is cold in Machucara and it is a community without electricity. It is located several hours away from a main community where they would get supplies. The children dressed up, they danced with each other, with their parents and with the guests. The day was all about them. Here are a few photos of the celebration.
La Florida Community Center Renovation Progress
We were able to visit the progress being made on the renovation of the La Florida Community Center Renovation project. The bamboo community center was built more than 10 years ago and is now being renovated thanks to UP Coffee Roaster’s generous donation. Renovations were necessary due to the lack of maintenance over the years. The building no longer provided the security needed for the development of the activities of the association. The community center was built to be a space where the coffee producers can hold training meetings, association meetings, the 73 women (of the 113 members) are able to meet to discuss their problems and make plans for the future and will soon be a safe place to meet, store coffee and plan for the future.
The grant funds provided purchased materials (bricks, cement, steel reinforcement rods) to secure the building, as well as materials and knowledge needed to maintain the bamboos structure. They are on target to complete the project before July, 2023.
Murajaga Community Center & Saira with Laptop from grant
Sabina Blanket Making Demonstration
Additional Grants Visited
La Chocolatada in Agua Azul
La Chocolatada in Guadalupe
La Chocolatada in Nueva York
La Chocolatada in San Antonio
La Chocolatada in San Hose Huanama