Perduco Education, “a center for self-directed learning, entrepreneurship, and global awareness” located in Mansfield, MA, is creating waves with both the students involved and with De La Gente. Their dedication to making a difference, specifically in Guatemala, has left its mark on the San Miguel Escobar community.
An organization grounded in education, Perduco came to Antigua, Guatemala to serve and learn. In 2014, Perduco’s Con Los Ojos Abiertos! (With Open Eyes) program brought twelve eager students to De La Gente for a week-long service learning trip. Although it wasn’t the original plan for the students to stay in the quiet community of San Miguel Escobar, program leader Roger Bourassa decided to try it out, and the experience did not disappoint. While staying in DLG's guesthouse, a local coffee farmer’s wife came in and cooked a delicious breakfast for the hungry students, which provided an authentic and tasty representation of a typical Guatemalan meal. Bellies full, the group followed De La Gente’s own Miguel up to his field, located on the beautiful volcano Agua. The students listened and worked with Miguel as he explained the beginning stages of coffee while removing weeds from his fields.
After spending some time in the fields, they hiked their way back down the volcano, and continued their education on coffee. Miguel walked the group through the entire process, from plant to drink. They even had the opportunity to traditionally roast and grind the coffee! Soon after they ground the coffee, it was used to prepare cups of coffee for the whole group to enjoy. Finally, great conversations were shared over an authentic homemade meal made in the farmer’s home. Through these moments, the students from Perduco were able to gain a deeper understanding of what a typical day looks like for Guatemalans.
Thanks to the service learning trip, the students decided to engage further by developing the Social Entrepreneurship Project at Perduco (tSEP) and distributing DLG coffee locally. The students are in charge of tasks such as finding clients, managing accounts, and handling money. On top of selling coffee, the group held a fundraiser for DLG’s one year anniversary. The students were able to successfully sell over 50 bags of coffee, and raise over $500 in donations for De La Gente!
Perduco’s consistent and impressive presence in De La Gente has benefited both the farmers here in Guatemala and the students involved. If you are interested in doing a service learning trip or partnering with DLG, get more information by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.