Meet the Growers

Our partner coffee farmers, who live in a guerrilla conflict zone, bravely uprooted their coca (cocaine) fields, risking safety and livelihood.

All of our partner growers once grew coca (cocaine), which fuels violence and wounds communities. Now they harvest rich coffee, which helps them encourage, by their example, coca-to-coffee transition and a new way of life among the many in their communities still growing coca. Read their amazing stories!

Christian

Friends of mine were being killed in the guerilla conflict for years while I was being an alcoholic and troublemaker. Then Pastor Evaristo shared about Jesus with me. As I began to seek a relationship with God, it became clear that my coca (cocaine) growing did not agree with Him. It was fueling armed conflict, crime, and tragedy in our country. Even my brother had to escape the village because he was marked for death.

So, trusting in God, I decided to cut down our coca and plant coffee. It has been so much hard work and time during the three years to make the harvest. But it is right. We are not hurting people any more and I feel so satisfied and grateful. Now we can show and teach others who are still growing coca about the change we made and how there is nothing more beautiful than to be in the hands of our God, our Father.

Pablo

Because of my growing coca (cocaine), my house almost burnt down and I nearly lost my family in the fire. It was then I came to Christ. My son was almost one year and I began to pray for a different way of life. God told me the way was coffee. So we cut down our coca fields and planted coffee. For three years, I tended the plants while scrapping by until harvest. It was hard, but we trusted that God would provide.

Now we want share the hope. In truth, there is little education and few ways to earn a living. Growing coca for the guerillas or fighting with them is tempting and many villagers do one or the other. But the fruit is violence and families torn apart. People want a different way, but do not see it. Thanks to God, we do. And with coffee and our faith, we are being examples of how lives and communities can be redeemed.

Richard

Three years ago I cut down the coca (cocaine) on my land and planted coffee because I became a follower of Jesus. But there is still so much coca growing in our community. We brothers and sisters who have uprooted coca are eager to raise awareness of the ways of the Lord and encourage others to change their lives. It is difficult, though. Coca is easy to grow, care for, and sell at a stable price, unlike coffee.

That is why the first step to change the community is to share the love of God and bring knowledge of the Word. If the love of God is in their hearts, like we did, our brothers and sisters will also cut down their coca and a community will be changed as we grow in our relationship with God.