Thursday, December 23, 2010

holiday caffeination

I may be a dietitian, but I love coffee (in moderation, of course…read my thoughts on caffeine here). You may remember Patrick’s guest post from earlier this year, and I’m happy to bring you an update.


Day 7: [better than] fair trade coffee

12 days of giving logo copy

Patrick Hughes [read his guest post] once dreamed of a career as a mechanical engineer and a 9-5 desk job. When he realized that he was following the expectations others had for him instead of his own ambitions, he made the life changing decision to partner with some friends and form Unión MicroFinanza, a microfinance organization in Honduras [yes, as in Central America].


Instead of merely giving loans to coffee farmers, Unión MicroFinanza works to educate them on financial responsibility and better farming techniques. The extra effort has not gone unrewarded; Unión MicroFinanza has been extremely successful, with a loan repayment rate greater than 99%.


Despite his accomplishments, Patrick is still a pretty humble guy and not afraid of tedious tasks like putting 300 stickers on bags of coffee. He says one of the biggest challenges has been immersing himself in the Honduran culture while trying to induce positive changes.


Patrick’s passion for his organization and for helping others is infectious. He truly believes that hard work can land anyone a dream job. The other members of the Unión MicroFinanza team include:

Andrew Boyd, Manager of Business [special thanks for delivering Microloan Coffee to my doorstep on Thanksgiving!].

Michael De Wit, Manager of Development

Daniel Schwartz, Manager of Community Relations

Ways to help:

I also had a really interesting discussion with Patrick about direct trade vs. fair trade…more thoughts on that to come.

  • Where does your coffee come from? And does it fit into a sustainable lifestyle?
  • How many of you are working your dream job?



  1. I try to buy only organic and fair trade coffee. I think it tastes better too ;)

  2. I am finally working my dream job. I spent years working at the front desk of a five-star hotel/restaurant. When people heard I worked there, they'd get super excited (because the establishment was so well-known). But I didn't like it there at all!

    Now I'm working part-time as a health coach, helping people to set and achieve goals, and full-time as a nanny. Both jobs are amazing and so fulfilling.

  3. In my freezer is coffee from Kenya roasted by That's Coffee, which has a wonderful rich, nutty caramel flavor. Sometimes I grind a batch with a cardamon seed in my coffee grinder, it makes this daily ritual a luxurious treat.

    I am working my dream job as a financial writer. I can't complain because it's interesting and I have a good work-life balance.

  4. I haven't bought coffee for a long time because I have a big stock of instantaneous coffee from ARgentina. But when I finish them, I'll definitely buy fair-trade coffee! :)

    I don't know what would be my dream job... but I think I'll try to make any job like my dream job! it's all about attitude! :)

  5. thats cool always like to get fair trade and tasty coffee
    Merry Christmas

    love Rebecca

  6. I agree, it was definitely some of the best coffee I've tasted!! Oh man, I need to work on my coffee intake. We get it free at work, all day, at any time, and it's seriously a problem! BTW,your first link on this post because needs fixed. I wanted to read your thoughts on coffee/caffeine :)

    I am working my dream job, believe it or not. I consider myself very lucky. No complains!

  7. I don't drink coffee, but fair trade seems like a great idea to me!

    Dream job? Hahahaha, I hope I can find a job...

  8. Our coffee comes from I don't even know where, but it is the Portuguese stuff we buy. I should see if I can decipher it sometime.

    I do have my dream job for what I have available now. Military spouses sacrifice a little too when it comes to supporting the sacrifice made by their spouse to serve their country. My dream job is teaching and while I don't do it in the classroom, I do get to do it online. I also enjoy my other part time jobs and helping middle and high schoolers get their grades up so they can get into college. I would love to do clinical again, but I understand that it is limited with us living overseas.

  9. What an awesome microfinance project. We need more people who are passionate about things like that!!

  10. SO cool about that coffee! Little things like that go SUCH a long way! How awesome is that! I hope God is blessing your Christmas, love!


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