Bridges to Community 2016 Fair Trade Trips Offer Chance to Learn, Explore Coffee and Chocolate in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic

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Local NGO offers fall trips to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic that explore fairly traded coffee and direct trade chocolate.

Bridges to Community today announced the dates for their fact finding 2016 Fair Trade Trips. These trips help participants understand the positive impacts “fairly” traded coffee and cacao create in rural Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. By touring farms, speaking with cooperative representatives, and spending time in coffee and cacao growing communities trip goers will see the results of coffee and chocolate purchases they probably make every day.

Taking place in the mountains and rainforests of these countries, Bridges’ Fair Trade Trips also offer a great opportunity to experience the diverse flora and fauna of the region, including hundreds of varieties of birds.

Bridges began running Fair Trade Trips in 2015. “Bridges to Community works with many rural communities on economic development, and this is a great opportunity to show people what goes into fair trade, how communities are being empowered by it, and what we can do as consumers to support these efforts,” said Christine Goffredo, Bridges to Community Volunteer Program Manager, and leader of the inaugural fair trade trip.

Joan Sherman participated in the first fair trade trip to Nicaragua and said: “The trip helped us see all types of fair trade, and then we could figure out what’s important to us.”

The trip leaves participants feeling inspired: “I left Nicaragua with so much hope and excitement for the future; to see how developing nations can evolve as we strive to achieve a fairer system of engaging in trade,” noted Kristen Kramer, also an attendee of the first Fair Trade Trip to Nicaragua.

The 2016 Fair Trade Trip to the Dominican Republic takes place from November 12-19 and will look at how directly traded cacao production in the central highlands intertwines globally significant conservation efforts with supporting small producer farms and some of the world’s best chocolate production. The Nicaragua trip will take place from December 3rd through the 12th. Participants will learn how coffee, the world’s second most valuable commodity exported by developing countries, supports small farmers, their communities and the ecosystems they depend upon when traded in a fair and environmentally sensitive manner.

To learn how to participate in a Fair Trade Trip, contact Bridges at info(at)bridgestocommunity(dot)org.

Bridges to Community is a non-profit organization that for over 25 years has supported rural communities in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic by bringing groups of volunteers of all ages to work on community-driven projects in the areas of housing, health, education, and economic development, and to engage in meaningful cultural exchange and learning.

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Christine Goffredo
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