(PORTLAND, Ore.––March 2, 2020) –– For the past dozen years, Portland Coffee Roasters has sponsored a fundraising campaign featuring its annual Holiday Roast, donating a percentage from the sales of the coffee to a select non-profit organization. The 2019 campaign, which concluded on Dec. 31, raised more than $10,000 –– $2,000 above its goal –– for Escuela de Caficultura, a school of agriculture in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, that teaches the essential knowledge and skills needed for coffee production.
“We were so pleased with the results of this year’s fundraiser, and we want to sincerely thank all of our customers for supporting it with the purchase of our Holiday Roast,” said Eva Attia, Portland Coffee Roasters Vice President. “In pledging $1 donated for every 12-ounce bag sold, we were able to raise an amount that will have a meaningful impact on young people throughout the Huehuetenango region.”
The beans for the Holiday Roast blend came from 15 smallholder cooperatives in Huehuetenango, many of which are made up of an indigenous people called the Mam who live in the western highlands of Guatemala and southwestern parts of Mexico. Portland Coffee Roasters purchased the beans from these smallholders at well above market prices. The coffee was sourced through Shared Source, USA, Portland Coffee Roasters’ importing partner.
The funds raised through the campaign will help impact the coffee industry in Guatemala by providing students with multi-course educational programs about environmentally responsible agricultural practices.
According to Claudia María Solano Medina, a teacher at Escuela de Caficultura, “One of our biggest dreams is to have a small plot of land belonging to the Escuela with its own installations so that we can support more young people who want to get ahead; not just for their personal, emotional, and labor well-being, but so that they can also become positive leaders in their communities and develop sustainable development within themselves.”
Julia Isabel Lorenzo López, a 28-year-old student, became interested in coffee at the age of 10 as she worked in a coffee shop and saw firsthand the experience a cup of coffee can create. Escuela de Caficultura allows her “… to be able to learn about coffee production from the agronomy, technical, and business aspects, while giving me the necessary tools to be able to offer my two children a better future.”
For Alexis Napoleón Lorenzo López, a 24-year-old student, “It’s gratifying to know that what I learn at the Escuela de Caficultura can help me with my personal desire to be able to walk up to coffee producers with better techniques and processes that can help them to see more benefits –– both at a personal and economic level –– so that they can feel the satisfaction that is work well done.”
Since its inception in 1996, Portland Coffee Roasters has been building sustainable relationships with coffee farmers and communities. This approach is paving the way for many projects in coffee-producing countries and beyond. The company follows the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the global standard to organize and measure progress toward a better, more sustainable world. Human health, well-being, diversity, equal rights, education, building and improving agricultural infrastructure such as clean water and water management systems are just some of the goals Portland Roasting Coffee pursues.
For more information, visit PortlandCoffeeRoasters.com and engage on social media at @PDXCoffeeRoasters.
About Portland Coffee Roasters
Portland Coffee Roasters, formerly Portland Roasting Coffee, is a wholesale and retail coffee company based in Portland, Oregon. Since 1996, Portland Coffee Roasters has sourced, roasted, and distributed high-quality specialty coffees locally and nationally from its location in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District. Its mission is to create positive human connections through coffee by building a socially responsible business. Through direct-source programs and global projects, the company works with farming communities and cooperatives to improve the quality of life for all members of the coffee supply chain.