La Normal High School Gachetá
Project: Knowledge Center
At the beginning of 2020, in the days before the pandemic, Devoción laid out its path toward social inclusion in topics related to the production of specialty coffee. As part of our plan, we chose to focus on a community of teachers and students at La Normal High School in Gachetá, a Colombian municipality located in the department of Cundinamarca, just three hours from Bogotá.
We created a curriculum for a hands-on approach to coffee training focusing on specialty coffee cultivation as well as brewing, both of which were singled out as key areas of interest for the producers in the region.
The activity was carried out in the school facilities and at a nearby farm. We recreated the ideal space to teach classes with real-life tools so that students and teachers could learn through practice and by example.
Starting with the teachers, we invited them to our facilities at the Devoción production plant in Bogotá, where they familiarized themselves with the day-to-day aspects of the coffee business as well as the production side. The idea was for them to experience first-hand the front end of the operation once the coffee beans have left their farms. They completed a lesson on coffee recognition, understanding the differences in coffee qualities and defects and how specialty coffee is prepared. They also received a certificate of completion in recognition of what they learned, and the time and dedication given to the success of this initiative.
After working with the teachers, a total of 125 students visited the knowledge center at farm level. During this outing, students developed a direct relationship with the land and with their coffee-growing environment. They obtained knowledge on topics related to sowing, harvesting, drying and using a depulper, among others.
In March of the same year, we held workshops on topics related to coffee defects, crop yield factor, and even how to use the thresher. Additionally, we focused on more psychosocial workshops to complement activities related to their social and environmental context.
After working with the community, we’ve become incredibly grateful to La Normal High School Gachetá. Thanks to their help in developing and executing these activities, we can reach the heart of our coffee growers’ community both in Gachetá and in other communities in which we choose to do outreach in the future. At Devoción, we are committed to searching for the best coffees while also enhancing the social and environmental factors that promote a circular economy and sustainable development.