Virtual Origin Trip Day 1: Tio Antonio and Cafe de Las Sonrisas


For our first day at origin, the GFE team stopped by Cafe de Las Sonrisas in Managua to check in with an inspiring social entrepreneur.

Since 2009, Emory students have been visiting our very good friend, Antonio, in Granada, Nicaragua to marvel at and be inspired by Cafe de Las Sonrisas and El Centro Social Tío Antonio. This amazing social entrepreneur launched a hammock business to provide opportunities to disabled youth, and then a cafe in 2012 to provide employment opportunities for young people with hearing disabilities.  This hammock shop and cafe quickly became one of our favorite stops for amazing smoothies and inspiring conversation. 

Due to the political situation in Nicaragua, Antonio’s operations have relocated to Managua - - Antonio welcomed us to his new spot during our GFE Virtual Origin trip. It was great to see him and we look forward to bringing future generations of students when the time is right! Watch the Day 1 Origin Trip footage here:

To learn more about Cafe de Las Sonrisas and Tio Antonio’s initiative, read this Huffington Post article about the cafe: CLICK HERE.

Tomorrow, we will be visiting GFE farmer Ivania Calderon at her farm, Finca Alborada! Tune in and keep up with the #GFEVirtualOriginTrip.

Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1: The traveling team will arrive in Nicaragua and will visit Tio Antonio in Managua.

  • Day 2: Our first official stop will be Café Alborada, the farm of GFE farmer Ivania Calderón.

  • Day 3: To get a more complete picture of how coffee is graded and sold, the team will spend some time with the Prodecoop coffee cooperative.

  • Day 4: On to another coffee farm! This time, the team will spend the day with Alexa Marin at her farm, Finca San Antonio.

  • Day 5: We'll get a chance to see the roasting process come to life at Vega Coffee's Esteli roasting facility.

  • Day 6: Back to Managua and adios to Nica!

Be sure to have a cup of GFE coffee in your hand while you watch! Click here to buy

Grounds for Empowerment