The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Cream & sugar?

What would you like with your cup of justice?

One of my favorite cups of coffee came straight from a tree in Jinotega, Nicaragua. Earlier this year, I spent several days in Central America, learning about the Lutheran World Relief Fair Trade Coffee Project. Though neither economics nor farming have been a personal forte, I suddenly found a surprising reason, as a Christian woman, to engage in the cultivation and sale of small brown coffee beans.

Fair-trade coffee (right) is processed
Fair-trade coffee is processed and grown by Lutheran World Relief partners.
Nicaragua — land of freshwater lakes, proud indigenous cultures, and a famous rice and beans dish called gallo pinto — has struggled economically for generations. According to the U.N. Development Programme, 79.9 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day. The U.N. also reports that Nicaragua’s Gross Domestic Product per capita for 2007 was $1,012.90.

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