A group of North Central College students are featured in a new video series about the coffee trade.
The Mission Coffee Can
series chronicles how North Central College students work with Guatemalan growers to sell their coffee in the United States. The premiere episode of Mission Coffee Can will debut online on Feb. 24. Visit the Mission Coffee Can site to watch a trailer about the series and to learn more about the project and its participants. The Mission Coffee Can project is sponsored by Springfield, Ill.-based Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
, the beverage equipment maker.
The video series documents how members of North Central College’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) chapter
traveled to Guatemala and various U.S. cities to learn about growing and marketing coffee. As they learn about coffee, they learn important lessons about themselves, the coffee community and sustainability.
Over the course of a year, the students develop their coffee project and present it at the national SIFE competition in Philadelphia, Pa. Throughout the process they also encounter some unexpected obstacles, develop unique relationships and redefine what it means to win.
The project documents how students traveled to Atlanta, Ga., to attend the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)
show and learn more about the trade. As the group prepares for the national competition, challenges abound with lost luggage, technical issues, excitement and stress that combine to create a situation that could explode at any moment.
As part of their journey, students make a trip to Springfield, Ill., home of the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation, where they learn about coffee basics in the BUNN Beverage Lab and meet with BUNN executives, who share their insights on running a long-term, successful business.
Hoping to learn more about coffee, the students travel to Guatemala, and are instantly enchanted with the natural beauty of their host community, San Lucas. But they quickly discover that Guatemalan life and coffee farming are harder than expected. The reality of the physical labor and poverty that are part of the Guatemalan peoples’ daily lives is a true awakening.
The students dig ditches, sift dirt, plant and sort coffee and visit an ancient Mayan ruin. At the end of a long day, they unwind with activities any college student would enjoy—playing soccer, dancing, shopping, and developing relationships with others in the group, as well as with native Guatemalans.
North Central College SIFE students featured in Mission Coffee Can include: Angrette Merced of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Carlos Robles of Chicago; Catherine Borzym of Downers Grove; Edmund Sinnot of Naperville; Jesus Ambriz of Aurora, IL; Kelli Lawrence of Atkinson, IL; Kristina Martinez of Cicero; Lauren Mitchell of Willow Springs; Marisol Martinez of Rochelle, IL; Matthew Baaske of Bolingbrook; Michael Massengill of Knoxville, TN; Sunbir “Sunny” Gill of Westmont; and Yevgeniy Kalinin of Kyiv, Ukraine.