Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Chaupimonte Community Mill: Supporting Education Through Coffee Development in Oxpampa

Project #
Colorado College
  • Lucy Marshall
  • Eva McKinsey

Chaupimonte Community Mill: Supporting Education through Coffee Development in Oxpampa

In a region of central Peru that has been plagued by insurgent violence, Lucy Marshall and Eva McKinsey traveled to a rural mountain town to promote specialty coffee production and invest the proceeds in local education.

Within days of arriving at a coffee farm in Ancahuachanan, “we kicked into high gear, working with a member of the local community to construct a 5x10-meter coffee solar dryer,” the two write. They “orchestrated a specialized harvest for high quality,” and experimented with alternate methods of production.

Once the coffee beans were drying, Lucy and Eva turned to education. To bring the Internet to the local school, they reached a deal to install an antenna on a nearby hill in exchange for providing the landowner with free online access. They found room in their budget to donate five laptops and a projector to two area schools. They also installed a swing set and a fence around the school grounds, funded a teachers’ course in computing, and supplied educational computer programs, games, sports equipment, school supplies, and more.

On the farm, they cleared and roofed a disused area, cleaned and repaired old washing wells for coffee, and installed new equipment. They reached agreement with the farm’s owner to donate a portion of the increased profits from the specialized coffee to continue supporting the schools.

“We were constantly amazed by how dedicated the parents were to their children’s schooling,” Lucy and Eva write. “While hearing many stories about the area’s sad history of terrorism, we also had the opportunity to witness how the community consistently comes together to provide structures of support.”