4-7-15  |  Volunteers

Georgetown Volunteers Support Coffee Farmers in Rural Nicaragua

BY: Anina Hewey

This guest post was written by members of the Georgetown Corp Fabretto service group.

This past March, 9 students from Georgetown University who are employees of The Corp traveled to Nicaragua for their annual service trip with Fabretto. The Corp is the largest student-run non-profit in the world, with every position, from cashier to CEO being occupied by students. The Corp runs coffee shops, a market, bodega, catering service, and restaurant on Georgetown’s campus.

This year’s service trip built off the work of the previous year, focusing on the 5 de Junio Cooperativa in Las Sabanas. During the week, we worked in three different coffee fields, helping their owners implement new cultivating and harvesting techniques that will improve efficiency in the fields in the long-run. We learned about the importance of keeping coffee trees short and trim, in order to maintain the quality and production of trees, which would boost the total harvest for the Co-Op, thereby improving the quality of life for all members in the area.

We spent 4 days in the Las Sabanas and Cusmapa area during our trip. Our group worked 2 full days and 2 half days in the coffee fields cutting trees and meeting local farmers. During the half-days, we visited two Fabretto centers, where we had the opportunity to learn about some of Fabretto’s educational programs and to play with the kids. Because our trip was the week before a celebration for Father Fabretto, we had the chance to spend an afternoon learning about Fabretto’s history along with some of the other students.

At night, we took advantage of the amazing sunsets to be seen at the Mirador and other lookouts around Cusmapa. Our last night was particularly special because a local band, composed of previous Fabretto students and a current Fabretto tutor, invited us all over to one of their houses to watch them practice. They taught us some traditional and modern pieces, as well as inviting us to sing “Piano Man” (which we promptly botched haha).

  

Outside of our service trip, we spent an afternoon at Laguna de Apoyo, went ziplining outside of Granada, and tubed through the Somoto Canyon. Our guide, Maria Isabel, was absolutely amazing and helped us learn as much as possible about Fabretto and Nicaragua during our stay! Thank you so much to Isabel for being the best guide ever!

Overall, our trip was amazing. We had the opportunity to learn about where Nicaraguan coffee comes from and about the great work Fabretto does, as well as make new friends and to do some great work. Thank you very much Fabretto for the opportunity and we look forward to our next trip next year!

Thank you to all of the Georgetown Corp volunteers! To learn more about volunteering with Fabretto, visit our Volunteer page.

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