Written by Christina Lorella
Here at Global Visionaries, we strive to empower young people to create social and environmental justice through our partnerships with like-minded organizations. By doing so, we are able to teach our participants to reach out and utilize outside resources and to accept the help of those who are willing to fight for our shared goal of global equality. Although we value each of our partnerships, we are especially grateful for our relationship with one particular organization, Espresso de Esperanza, which has helped facilitate life-altering experiences for countless numbers of GV participants.
This youth-run coffee company located in the outskirts of Antigua in the small village of San Miguel Escobar, opened it’s doors in 2006 after a group of five aspiring high school students completed a course in Business Administration. They hoped to use their new-found skills and knowledge to create a company that helped in the development of their country. They did just that.
Espresso de Esperanza is a legally registered Fair Trade coffee incorporation, which strives to end the physical and financial exploitation that has been placed upon coffee farmer’s for hundred of years. They help fight the terrible injustices that many Guatemalans face by not only generating stable and safe jobs, but by also paying their employees twice the Fair Trade standard.
Oscar Garcia, a current Espresso de Esperanza employee, recently wrote to the Global Visionaries office in Seattle, discussing the hardships that many of his people still face. He elaborated on the company’s desire to improve the lives of their workers and their families, but reminded us that ultimately, justice will not be achieved until coffee consumers act responsibly. Here in Seattle, the “coffee capital of the world,” we have the power to create real change, one cup at a time. A basic knowledge of the importance of fair trade and a compassionate heart is all it takes to start.
In an effort to end the physical and financial exploitation forced upon these people, and often times sexual abuse, Garcia encourages consumers to be responsible consumers by “investigating the origin and the conditions under which the product was made.”
Global Visionaries proudly sells coffee produced at Espresso de Esperanza, which can be purchased by contacting our office at (206) 322-9448. We offer a variety of roasts, both ground or whole bean. Because we purchase the coffee at wholesale price but sell it at retail, we are able to not only cover the costs of the coffee, but are able to use the remaining funds to help provide scholarships to our low-income youth participants.
The coffee is 100 percent shade-grown Arabica and is harvested by small farmers on the base of Volcan Agua in Antigua, Guatemala at an altitude of more than 4,500 feet, classifying it as strictly hard coffee. Additionally, the coffee meets SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) specialty grade standards.
Garcia ended his letter by thanking GV for our partnernship and for serving as a stepping stone in the fight against injustice and oppression.