Growing Coffee, Growing Minds

By Ruth Ann Petroff
Growing Coffee, Growing Minds

One of the things we at Snake River Roasting Co appreciate most about coffee is the sense of community it fosters. From catching up with an old friend to building out a new business idea to starting the day with family—there is something about a good cup of coffee that unites us. And maybe it’s our Western roots, but we cherish that sense of togetherness.

For us, community isn’t defined by borders, either. Our commitment to one another transcends lines on a map. Great coffee, we believe, requires taking care of the land that grows it and the individuals whose lives and livelihoods depend on it. That’s why we use only 100% organic, sustainably-sourced beans. It is why we partnered with Café Femenino, a coffee co-operative run by women to create opportunity for their fellow women farmers. 

It would be hard to overstate the very real positive impact Café Femenino has In rural corners of the world where women’s roles have long beenconfined to domestic and household responsibilities Café Femenino is empowering these individuals to build careers and to get an education. Meeting with these female leaders and seeing the change they are catalyzing, it becomes obvious they are sowing the seeds of progress for the long-term benefit of their children, their communities, and their countries.

When Snake River Roasting first became involved with Café Femenino more than two years ago we had the unique opportunity to fund a local library in Nahualá, a remote village in Guatemala. Started in 2009, the library offers literacy programs that reach over 1,000 girls and mothers. Our support, though modest in the larger picture, helped to open the doors of a local artistry shop, the proceeds from which fund the library.

The respected educator Horace Mann famously called education the great equalizer. Yet, over 76 million young women worldwide lack basic reading and writing skills and girls are less likely to begin school than their male counterparts. The single biggest predictor of a child’s success is the education level of their mother.

We don’t pretend to have all the answers. But if we can help a child in rural Guatemala, or anywhere else, to have access to a good education we feel compelled to do all we can. After all, coffee is about community. Snake River Roasting Co is proud to support Café Femenino and the good work it’s doing. Great coffee for a great cause—it’s tough to beat that.

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