GLOA Grad’s Fair Trade Coffee Dream Becomes Reality

Global Affairs graduate Daniel Velasquez (BA, 2013) is making his dream of bringing high quality specialty coffee direct from his parents’ home country of Colombia to the US a reality. The grandson of a coffee worker from the small town of Risaralda in Colombia’s famous coffee zone, Daniel was born in Miami and grew up in Northern Virginia. He attended Northern Virginia Community College before transferring to Mason.  Excelling in the Global Affairs program, he concentrated in International Development, added a business minor, and spent a semester in Curitiba, Brazil interning for CIFAL.

Daniel has turned his classroom knowledge into an innovative business plan. He launched his business “Campesino Specialty Coffee” a year ago.  The business model Daniel has developed is based on importing “micro-lots” of farm-direct, high quality coffee from Colombia to the US. Daniel’s personal, direct connection to farms and coffee growers is key to the fair trade model he is building.

Daniel makes regular trips to Colombia’s coffee zone, where the relationships he is cultivating run much deeper than strictly business. Daniel ‘s fair trade model is geared toward contributing toward building stronger communities for the coffee workers and their families­­. Campesino Specialty Coffee is currently focusing on strengthening community education by “adopting” an elementary school in Salento. A portion of the company’s revenue goes toward supporting the school not only by providing school supplies such as notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, book bags, glue, scissors, flash cards but other necessities for students, such as clothing and toiletries.

You can enjoy a cup of coffee brewed from beans from El Ocaso farm at area coffee shops: Swing’s Coffee (501 E Monroe Ave, Alexandria), Vigilante Coffee (4327 Gallatin St, Hyattsville, MD), Qualia Coffee (3917 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC), and Caffe Amouri (107 Church St NE, Vienna, VA).  You can also read more about “Campesino Specialty Coffee” and order direct,