‘Coffee-for-Clean-Water’ Initiative Comes to Campus

College of Wooster students will sell Reach Trade Coffee with proceeds earmarked for clean-water projects in Peru

7 November, 2013 by John Finn

When Bailey Connor accepted an internship in Peru last summer, she had no idea how profoundly she would be affected by the experience.

A junior anthropology and economics double major at The College of Wooster and a resident of The Woodlands, Texas, Connor spent six weeks in the Central Highland region of Peru documenting the many challenges faced by the residents of the area, most notably drug trafficking, terrorism, and polluted water.

Connor chronicled the water crisis through video and still photography, and helped to facilitate the installation of water filtration systems through Reach Trade and its “coffee for clean-water” initiative.

Now Connor is spreading the word locally — both on campus and in the community — in the hopes that she can encourage residents of Wooster and classmates at the College to support the effort. “We’re trying to get the students and those who live nearby to unite in our mission to make clean water available to the residents of Peru,” she said. “The effort is a part of a larger campaign by local coffee company Reach Trade to unite the Americas in the initiative for clean water.”

At the center of Connor’s mission is the tiny town of Pangoa, where approximately 500 people are in desperate need of a filtration system. Connor, and fellow students Bailey Caffrey, Rita Frost, and Camille Schwartz, are hoping to raise $1,500 for a modest water filter, and they plan to get started this weekend with an event at The Shack (437 E. Pine St.) on Saturday (Nov. 16). Between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., owners of the restaurant will donate 10 percent of their proceeds from breakfast and lunch to the project. In addition, Connor and her colleagues will be pouring Reach Trade Coffee and selling bags of the product for $10, with $3.91 from each sale going directly to the project.

“Through my internship, I realized just how important it is to provide clean water for the people of Peru,” said Connor. “It has become something that I can’t walk away from."

Beginning Saturday, she will take one step — and a few sips — closer to her goal with a simple cup of coffee at The Shack.