Tag Archives: volunteer

Good to the Last Drop—a Completely Fulfilling IST to Guatemala

Guatemala-Group-Shot
Back row, l–r: Cameron Haggar, Kevin Coles, Kateland Dittig, Carolyn Hall, Taylor Ciambra, Kya Roumimper, Katelyn Williams, Alyssa Tremblay, Jessica Lambert, Jessica Gagne Cloutier
Front row, l–r: Addy Parsons, Hannah Gagnon, coffee farmer Alberto, Lisa Bryant, Michelle Brahen

Fourteen KSC students are much more sensitive to the coffee they drink, after their International Service Trip (IST) to Guatemala in January. “More sensitive” in that, after spending nine days working on a Fair Trade coffee farm, they’re much more aware of the labor and economics that go into that cup of Joe. As the group wrote in their last blog post at the end of the trip, “And to the farmers and artisans: your kindness, patience, and passion will not be forgotten. We will share your stories, emulate your work ethic, and remember you fondly. We will be better consumers and better people for having met you.”

Volunteers usually only last about an hour at this kind of work, but there's a seven-foot hole for a biodigester all ready, thanks to  (l–r) Hannah Gagnon, Kya Roumimper, Katelyn Williams, Kateland Dittig, and Cameron Haggar (in the hole).
Volunteers usually only last about an hour at this kind of work, but there’s a seven-foot hole for a biodigester all ready, thanks to (l–r) Hannah Gagnon, Kya Roumimper, Katelyn Williams, Kateland Dittig, and Cameron Haggar (in the hole).

The group travelled to a small village in Guatemala called San Miguel Escobar, situated at the base of Volcan de Agua, just outside Antigua. They worked with coffee farmers and artisans through an NGO called As Green as It Gets, which focuses on economic development and environmentally sustainable agriculture in Guatemala. The organization eliminates most of the middle men to ensure that the growers earn a significantly higher profit from their crop than if they sold to a local distributor. The students picked hundreds of pounds of coffee cherries, sorted and dried beans, dug a new bio-digester and a tilapia pond by hand, and helped to make textiles and cosmetics from local materials.

“In addition to hundreds of hours of volunteer service, students learned about local agriculture, sustainable farming, and the economics of coffee.” explained KSC’s Coordinator of Community Services, Jessica Gagne Cloutier. “They were immersed in the culture of Guatemala, eating nearly every lunch and dinner in the homes of the farmers they worked with. Students learned to make corn tortillas, roasted and ground coffee to drink, and engaged in endless conversation.”
Continue reading Good to the Last Drop—a Completely Fulfilling IST to Guatemala

Become an Alumni Admissions Ambassador

Alums: Share your love of Keene State and encourage prospective students. The Admissions Office can really use your help. We’ll be offering a one-hour information and training session on June 2nd—the Saturday of Reunion Weekend. The session will offer important insight and prepare you to help out at a college fair and meet with prospective students and families. The session will take place at 4 p.m. in the Admissions Office in Elliot Hall. For more information or to sign up, please contact Peg Richmond, Director of Admissions (800-KSC-1909 or 603-358-2276).