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Curley Notre Dame students 'brewing hope' for Haiti

Cafe Cocano project gives students a hands-on grasp of 'fair trade'

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep's Diversity Action Team is

Photographer: COURTESY PHOTO | ACND Prep

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep's Diversity Action Team is "brewing hope for Haiti" by parsing Haitian-grown coffee beans, cleaning out and separating damaged beans from good ones. A Miami-based proprietor then roasts the beans for sale in the United States. Pictured, from left, members of the Action Team listen to Anthony Vinciguerra of the Cafe Cocano project and St. Thomas University: front: Elizabeth Pineer and Jocelyne Rosales; back: Isaacson Innocent, Kerwins Mathurin, Christopher Arroyo, Schnidyne Pierre, Steven Gideon, and Vinciguerra. Group members not in photo: Bryan McDonald and Marvin Marcelin.

MIAMI | Students from Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep's Diversity Action Team are brewing hope for Haiti through a three-way partnership between the students, St. Thomas University and the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews. As part of an ongoing project, the team is parsing Haitian-grown coffee beans, cleaning out and separating damaged ones from the good ones. A Miami-based proprietor located in Miami then roasts the beans for sale in the United States.

This project has given students a valuable lesson about the "fair trade" relationship that empowers rural Haitian farmers, reforests the land, and supports a sustainable socio-economic infrastructure for Haiti's future. It allows farmers in Haiti to increase their earnings from $0.65 per pound to $4.16 per pound.

"Mr. Vinciguerra swept the Curley students off their feet," said Christian Travieso, Action Team moderator. He was referring to a presentation made by Anthony Vinciguerra, the Cafe Cocano project director and director of the Center for Justice and Peace at St. Thomas University. "His presentation provided our students with information regarding free trade, social justice, and helping the less fortunate."

Diversity Action Team member Elizabeth Pineer helps to sort good from bad coffee beans as part of the group's Brewing Hope for Haiti project.

Photographer: COURTESY PHOTO | ACND Prep

Diversity Action Team member Elizabeth Pineer helps to sort good from bad coffee beans as part of the group's Brewing Hope for Haiti project.

The Diversity Action Team is a small group of ACND students that seek to identify issues that cause division among individuals in society. The DAT Program is one of several MCCJ projects offered to students in Miami-Dade. The group's mission is to remedy specific causes of division through projects that promote awareness within the school community and beyond.Courtney Berrien, program coordinator for MCCJ, put the high school into a working relationship with Vinciguerra. Apart from the Brewing Hope for Haiti project, other Action Committee endeavors have addressed bullying and providing relief to struggling communities.

"St. Thomas University has generously paved a way for our students to have a direct influence on rural farmers in Haiti," said Travieso. "The project is essential because it gives the students a hands-on approach to the meaning of fair trade; it gives the students a chance to participate in something greater than themselves. They are given an opportunity to live out the Gospel in word and deed through the practice of virtues like compassion, sacrifice, and solidarity. This project is life-changing."

Comments from readers

Christian Travieso - 06/04/2013 10:49 PM
Way to go, Diversity Action Team!!!!!!

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