The grassy plains of Nariño, Colombia, where riverbanks overflowed and over 2,000 Arabica coffee plants once stood is now made up of desert terrains scorched by the dry heat and severe droughts.
Over the past 10 years, Colombia has become one of the world’s regions most vulnerable to climate change. The southwest of Colombia, home to many indigenous and Afro-Colombians, constantly experiences riverbank erosion, livestock depletion, and loss of soil nutrients. Drastic conditions of global climate change have left millions of families and farmers unemployed and destitute.
In response Catholic Relief Services has supported an initiative to promote sustainable coffee production. The Borderlands Coffee Project in Nariño, Colombia, calls for integrating educational resource management with market-driven programming to boost farmers’ household income and build commercial relationships in the international market. The project provides a sustainable income for farmers and also funds local research groups looking for long-term solutions to global climate change.
Camila DeChalus explores the role of Catholic Relief Services in Colombia in creating a more eco-friendly environment through sustainable employment opportunities and educational programs.