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On Thursday, October 18, Elvia Alvarado, an activist and coffee grower from Honduras, will present the lecture “Not Just a Cup of Coffee, But a Just Cup of Coffee” at Colby College in Waterville. The 4 p.m. reception and lecture will be in the Pugh Center of Cotter Union. Alvarado, a Fair Trade certified coffee grower, will address the inequalities within the coffee industry and their effects on peasant farmers in Central America. There will be a reception before the talk with samples of Fair Trade coffee available. The Fair Trade Certified label assures that coffee importers pay a fair price to farmers and work with democratically organized cooperatives.
Trained by the Catholic Church to organize women’s groups to combat malnutrition, Alvarado questioned why campesinos were malnourished. In Honduras, Central America’s poorest country, thousands of local peasant farmers are losing their traditional lands, are on the verge of starvation and must send their children to work. As a campesino organizer Alvarado has led risky land recovery efforts to enforce the national land reform laws. In return, she has been harassed, jailed and tortured by the Honduran military.