December 12, 2019
3 Minute Read
Marisabel VasquezThe last few months in Latin America have been, to put it mildly, a little tumultuous. People have decided to raise their voices in the streets, protesting reforms affecting subsidies, student loans, and pensions, demanding better living conditions, and fighting for their rights. Although there are many reasons behind the demonstrations, in general, most people simply want a better future and more opportunities for their children and for future generations. Whether this is the best way to do it is a matter for discussion. However, I think we can all agree that change requires action, some manner of contribution in a positive way.
Last year, we witnessed the Football World Cup 2018 in Russia. In many countries, especially in Latin America, football transcends simple sport; it’s a passion that unites people, families, neighbors, and citizens of each country (club football, of course, is another matter!) In these difficult moments, where there are many opinions, lifestyles, and politics dividing people, football is one thing that can do the opposite; it’s a common passion that unites all of us, no matter the age or political beliefs. For children, football players can be idols and role models, and the play and learning that happens at school are crucial components of child development that will yield the next generation of leaders, engaged citizens, and MVPs.
With this in mind, Caravela partnered with Perfect Daily Grind during the 2018 World Cup to create a football pool, where people from the coffee industry and beyond participated with $10 USD, making match predictions for the whole tournament. 100% of the money raised by the pool was used to purchase unpoppable One World Play Footballs from fellow B-Corp One World Play Project, for schools in Latin American coffee communities where Caravela is present. Thanks to everyone’s participation in the pool, we were able to raise $870 USD, which was matched with kind contributions from Dana Young, D’Angelo Coffee, Shamini Dhana, Brian Gaffney, and Amalgamated Bank (another fellow B-Corp). In total we were able to raise enough for 240 footballs!
Although the balls were ready for release a few months after the tournament, it was tricky getting them “over the line”; we experienced substantial logistics delays which held up their entry from US to Colombia, Guatemala and Peru. After much paperwork, in May 2019 we finally had the 240 footballs at origin. Over the last few months, our PECA teams have been visiting schools and organizing football matches with the children. In addition to soccer games, we’ve organized dodgeball and basketball tournaments at schools with the children, having lots of fun but also explaining the importance of going to school. Some of these schools rarely have enough resources to buy supplies, let alone toys, so both teachers and students have been very grateful and excited about this opportunity.
Our goal was to find a way to unite everyone and to celebrate one of the world's most exciting sporting moments while improving the livelihoods of coffee communities, and we made it! The month of El Mundial was nerve-wracking as always, but I am sure all of you had a lot of fun playing the pool! Thank you for making a memorable World Cup even more special with us, positively impacting children’s lives in Latin America! We appreciate your support for this beautiful cause, and invite you to see some of the thousands of children in Latin America who are benefiting from your participation.
So far, we have delivered:
-10 footballs in El Salvador, to 4 schools with 330 children
-30 footballs in Guatemala to 9 schools with 1,240 children
-15 footballs in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands to 13 schools with 2,200 children
-25 footballs in Peru to 13 schools with 1,040 children
-100 footballs in Colombia to 53 schools with 4,270 children
Due to logistical issues, the footballs destined for Nicaragua unfortunately didn’t arrive prior to the Christmas holiday, which started in the last week of November. For this reason, we will have to wait until next year to deliver them to schools in Nicaragua, but we will share photos with you as soon as we start receiving them.
Meanwhile, we are pleased to share some pictures with you from everywhere else, capturing these special moments as well as some letters that we received from the children in Colombia.
Marisabel Vásquez is the Marketing and Community Coordinator for Caravela Coffee based in Bogota, Colombia. After a year, doing her internship at Caravela and learning about coffee, the specialty market, the supply chain, whilst meeting and working hand in hand with producers, she was hired full-time to manage all company marketing and social media, which she has been doing over the last two years.