Students at Bekele’s Blessing primary school in Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia are enjoying their lunch during my visit to this community development program right outside the town. The school was established by the founders of Common River Tsegaye Bekele and Donna Sillan. Currently, there is a second, third and fourth grade with close to 120 students who receive the best possible education in this lush coffee region right in the heart of Sidama. Most of the funds to establish and manage the program came from private donors in and around Mill Valley, CA, USA. To sustain the long term future of the project, which also includes an evening curriculum for 110 young women, Boot Coffee is exploring opportunities to select and import specialty grade coffees from Aleta Wondo in collaboration with the regional coffee industry of Aleta Wondo. Despite the current challenges with Direct Trade in Ethiopia, I am hopeful to establish quality programs with the regional coffee cooperatives in order to bring the unique beans from this region to the warehouses of demanding specialty roasters around the world. Interested to participate and to purchase coffee? Shoot me an email. I’ll keep you posted.
Recently, I was watching mega-funny Richard Ayoade’s “Travel Man,” where he was visiting a Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) tasting session and admitted