From September 1-4, 2008, Coffee Kids’ program staff attended Ramacafé 2008 in Manauga, Nicaragua. More than 300 participants from 16 countries (mostly from Central America) attended the event.
Since 2004, Ramacafé has gathered scholars, producers, roasters, specialists, cooperatives and organizations involved in the coffee industry and coffee culture to share and discuss the future of the industry. This year, José Luis Zárate, Coffee Kids’ international program director, was invited to participate in an education panel on the first day of conference.
During the session, José Luis Zárate stressed the importance of community-based projects that respond to the needs of people in coffee-growing regions. Zárate’s presentation gave Coffee Kids’ staff the opportunity to meet various cooperatives and organizations from Central America that are interested in helping coffee-farming families.
The first day of the conference featured topics such as coffee certification, production and commercialization, as well as the health benefits of coffee, sustainability and education.
Zárate and International Program Coordinator José Carlos Leónalso visited Finca La Virgen, a coffee plantation in the state of Matagalpa, Nicaragua. During the visit, Zárate and León saw a clinic constructed by the finca that provides free medical care and medicine for the employees of La Virgen and people in the nearby communities. The finca has also constructed a school for local children and an eco-hostel to capitalize on the popularity of point-of-origin tours.