Serve Well Blog

10.21.13

Coffee: A Lesson in Staying Human

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press

 As a partner in a coffee farm in Cerro Redondo, Honduras, Glen Guenther '11 has many opportunities to practice The Krista Foundation service ethic of checking your filter. He and Wilson Chavez got to know each other when Glen spent a month with the Chavez family during a Whitworth University study tour.

After another visit, conversations and discernment, Glen and Wilson purchased a small piece of land together for a small-scale coffee farm through which the Chavez family-previously subsistence farmers who rented-could gain a more stable livelihood. Glen checks his lens often around the issue of money because "compared to Wilson, I come from a place of relative wealth." While honoring Wilson's high expectations for the farm and responding to long-distance requests for funds for fertilizer and labor, "I have to ‘stay human' and see Wilson as a person and not just a function of an exciting project that I am involved in. Wilson doesn't have the benefit of being able to sustain a failing business venture. If the farm can't sustain itself from harvest profits, we should abandon it in favor of something else."

Glen is completing an M.A. in at the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and recently began working as business analyst with access.mobile, a startup that helps rural clinics in Africa and Latin America turn paper-based health records into electronic systems that can be accessed by text or tablet.

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