Santa Ana, ES - Who remembers saving files to a floppy disk? Personally, I recall labeling each different one with permanent marker, and getting strange stares in college when attempting to retrieve a paper from one in my university library. And that was six years ago.
For many students in El Salvador however, working with computers that still require them is a daily task.
As Emilio Lopez Diaz, owner of Cuatro M and Beneficio El Manzano, visited and toured Escuela de Educacion Especial "Elisa Alvarez de Diaz," a school in Santa Ana, El Salvador; technology was something he noticed, observing computers in the school’s media center that were purchased, practically speaking, before Facebook was invented.
Escuela de Educacion Especial, was established to provide educational services for students with special needs in the Santa Ana community. Named after his grandmother, and near the location of his coffee mill and roastery, Emilio Diaz considered it to be the perfect candidate for a profit sharing initiative he had begun at Beneficio El Manzano one year ago.
The initiative gives green coffee buyers and roasters the opportunity to purchase green coffee from Cuatro M at a premium, paying $0.05 more per pound, on the contracted guarantee that the money will be used to invest in the recognized needs of schools within the area of the coffee mill.
So far, Cuatro M has paired up with Coda Coffee Company of Denver, Atlas Coffee Importers of Seattle, and Finca Ayutepeque of Santa Ana, ES for an initiative at the Ayutepeque School, where they replaced all of the cafeteria cooking and kitchen supplies, in order to enable their staff to meet the needs of students. Also, Campos Coffee of Sydney, Australia has joined in the initiative to assist the El Manzano School in Las Cruces County.
Now, only days away from a celebration of the schools name, honoring the life of Elisa Alvarez de Diaz, who passed away two months ago; Emilio Lopez Diaz, on behalf of Cuatro M and Veneziano Caffe of Melbourne, Australia, was able to deliver three brand new computers to the principal and staff of Escuela de Educacion Especial, assembling and installing them Thursday morning in the school's media center.
"I want to replace them all,” was the first thing Emilio said as we climbed back into the truck, and waved back to the extended hands of staff and principal, recalling the wear and damage to the six or so computers still remaining.
Thanks to buyers and roasters like Veneziano Caffe however, and others who value more than just the coffee in El Salvador, Emilio Diaz and Cuatro M are confident we will.