Cafe to Benefit Landmine Victims in Nicaragua
Landmines are everywhere in Nicaragua as a result of the terrible war during the 1970's. Many were planted in coffee fields because the soldiers would help their families and communities during the harvest, and also as a way of terrorizing the populace from harvesting their only source of income. Even now, farmers still step on mines, and schoolchildren lose limbs to mines that have migrated during floods and landslides into walking paths. There are two major problems in this. First, it is difficult to get good prosthetics from well-meaning Americans don't often fit well, thereby exacerbating the physical problems of the victims. Second, landmine victims are generally unable to continue farming, and may not have other means to support their families.
To address these issues, we partnered with the Polus Center to create a cafe/roasterie in Leon, owned and operated by a prosthetics clinics that gives free limbs and therapy to landmine victims and the poor. All profits from the cafe go to the clinic, and any adult who receives treatment and therapy and wants to stay in Leon can work in the cafe in a good paying job with high visibility (important for normalization of disabilities). We have had many talented employees (a one-armed coffee roaster and a barista who uses a wheelchair) who have re-entered the workforce at the cafe and then moved on successfully. The cafe ran successfully for about seven years before closing down in 2010. Given that 75% of new restaurants in America close before the 3rd year, this was a good run. The coffee roasting equipment was given to a veterans group who roasted and sold coffee to support their social programs. The prosthetics clinic is operating successfully, run by Nicaraguan staff who make all the prosthetics on site (they are still using my old router!).
- Polus Center
2003 - 2013
Money Committed by Dean's Beans
- Cafe closed in 2013
- Roaster given to veterans group for support