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USU Students Travel to Peru to Learn About Ethical Coffee


Credit USU's Center for Community Engagement
A photo of the students and women from Peru.

  A group of Utah State University students have created a photo gallery in Caffe Ibis, a coffee shop in downtown Logan. The gallery shares the stories of the women who grow the coffee for the brand Cafe Feminino.


The CafeFemeninoFoundation focuses on food security, gender equity and women’s empowerment and respiratory health for women in Peru, Columbia, Guatemala, Sumatra and the Dominican Republic.

This summer a group of 10 students and 2 faculty leaders, as part of USU’s Center for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, visited the northern region of Peru in partnership with the Cafe Femenino Foundation to build greenhouses so the women could have stable food all year.

“The Cafe Femenino Foundation is unique in that it encourages and empowers women to identify community needs and then come together and propose projects for the Cafe Femenino Foundation," said Kate Stephens, assistant director at the center. "That’s what makes an international service project really sustainable is when the community takes ownership of it and it’s their idea, their voices are heard and there are systems in place to keep it going beyond our short time there.”


Brihanna Malcolm is a USU student who went on the trip. She says the Peruvian community was extremely grateful for their help building the greenhouse.


“Everyday we’d get like a little grocery bag full of this fruit called granadilla, and it was only thing they grew at the time," she said. "So everyday they would just give us bags of this fruit and by the end of it we must have had like 50 pounds of that fruit. They were just so grateful for us being there. It was really sweet.”


Malcolm and her fellow student who went on the trip, Nahomi Jimenez felt the means justified the cost of the coffee.


“A $12 bag of coffee might seem ridiculously expensive," Jimenez said. "Why do that when you could buy it on Amazon for cheaper? Two-day shipping right? But when we were out there and we got to see and experience every step of what the harvest looks like and how this cash crop provides for so many people and has done so much for specifically women in this community and them gaining a voice and a leadership role it almost made it all worth it.”


Caffe Ibis is currently displaying a photo gallery of the trip to Peru. The photos feature the people of Peru, their daily life and their work in both coffee and weaving. Cafe Femenino can also be purchased at Caffe Ibis.