Making great coffee and making a difference

At Community Coffee Company, taking care of people is a cornerstone of our philosophy. And it’s our belief that no matter what we do, we can do more. Our historical social responsibility programs have supported the local communities where our high-quality Arabica coffee is grown for generations.

The objective of our latest project is to create a program that partners to directly support the coffee growers and their families. ECOM Foundation, a 501c3 organization, provided that platform. Creating spaces and opportunities for education and the dissemination of knowledge are key factors to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods at origin. In partnership with our customer Southwest Airlines and through the ECOM Foundation, we were able to support the construction of two new school buildings, outfitted with electrical generators, computer equipment and classroom furnishings. The building project improved availability and quality of education resources and services to the isolated coffee farming communities of Union Buenavista and Tierra y Libertad located in Chiapas, Mexico.

The problem

The towns of Union Beunavista and Tierra y Libertad are situated on unpaved mountainous roads 2-3 hours from the closest town, creating obstacles for teachers and students to reach educational programs, especially during the rainfall season when mudslides and damaged roadways are prevalent. Additionally, the local communities had limited and low-quality educational resources, with infrequent teacher interaction, no adult education or training resources for community members and no opportunity for university education.

The solution

To support these communities whose economy is based on coffee farming, Community Coffee Company in partnership with Southwest worked with the ECOM Foundation, to fund the construction and maintenance of two satellite schools. These schools provide a space for grade school education plus further learning for coffee farmers and the entire local communities through health, practical skills training and much more. Further, the program established an alliance with Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) for the curriculum to be delivered online via satellite Internet.

A member of the community is employed as School Director to act as liaison between ITESM and students and manage the center operations. Further, a committee of local community members are responsible for maintenance and school activities to generate greater community buy-in and involvement.

ChiapasBlogImageBenefiting more than 2,400 people

An integral part of the program involves the specialized curriculum. Coffee farmers are provided advanced agricultural training to improve their productivity and reinforce the long-term stability of their communities’ livelihood. The local youth are provided access to a world-class education. Youth ages 12-18 will have the opportunity to gain technological and academic skills, inventive-thinking behaviors, and values and discipline to better prepare them for success in the global marketplace. Other community members may receive on-going training on the use of computers, email and Internet. Finally, the entire community will have the opportunity to access university education without relocating.