The Inga community is one of many native communities living in remote regions of Colombia. From 1990 to the early 2000’s, they found themselves victims of atrocities inflicted by guerilla forces seeking the financial benefit from the trade of cocaine and heroin. The guerilla groups took over banks and infrastructure in their communities and forced the growth of these illegal crops. Colombians, in general, were afraid to travel freely in many parts of the country, but the southwestern portion of the country was particularly bad. Around this time, kidnapping and extortion by guerillas were rampant. This left the remote indigenous communities like the Inga in Nariño out of reach of anyone to help.
Persident Álvaro Uribe Vélez,following up on a series of incremental changes and failed peace treaties that occurred over many previous administrations, was able to establish the Democratic security and Defense Policies. These new policies opened the doors, and roads, to make travel and commerce safe for Colombian citizens. This was a major change in the security in the remote regions, like Nariño, where indigenous communities did not have the government support and protection. In the early 2000’s, the Colombian and the United States governments established the Buffer Zone Program, which helped transition crops, establish security, improve agricultural practices, and restore indigenous cultural knowledge and practices.
Right about now you might be asking, “Why the history lesson?” Well, this safety and security can be taken for granted. These security and stability changes have a significant impact on the people of those communities. That security and stability brings income into these communities, builds schools, restores government, and restores infrastructure that help to promote a healthy community. So what is in your cup? It’s a little overwhelming to think about everything that went into this coffee and what it took to get it to St. Louis. This inspires and motivates us at Blueprint Coffee to keep improving and forming relationships with the communities that produce our coffee.
Team taste notes: molasses, cocoa, prune, raisin, earth, strawberry
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