Arturo Antonio Cañaveral has been a Peruvian coffee farmer all of his life. When he discovered one of his daughters had become sick from a parasite acquired from contaminated water, he knew he had to take action.
Cañaveral helped found Todos Al Agua, an initiative which combats contaminated water found in areas of Peru and Colombia. These regions have suffered for 25 years from water scarcity in the dry seasons and poor water quality during the rainy seasons. Every purchase of Pure Origin‘s Peruvian coffee funds workshops to combat climate change and protect water resources in the Amazonas.
“We decided on ‘Todos Al Agua,’ because it is like immersing ourselves in the water,” Cañaveral said. “I feel very good because I can contribute ideas and propose activities. Thanks to the project, we can do many activities: protect a basin, reforest. Before, without the project, we could not do this.”
The project started with modest beginnings. Coffee growers from five villages in the municipality had the same problems that can affect cultivation. They united to combat climate change and water pollution, the things that are most harmful to their livelihoods. Since the start of Todos Al Agua, Cañaveral said they have planted 30,000 coffee trees.
“I know this is all a process,” said Cañaveral, “that little by little, our mentality is going to change more and more, that the pollution that we generate to the environment and to the water is being mitigated thanks to the project, and will soon be decontaminated.”
Cañaveral, 42, generally works from 5:30 in the morning to 6 in the evening during much of the year. During the harvest season, he extends this until after 10 or 11 at night. He picks up coffee, weeds, and does anything necessary around the farm. Whenever he has a spare minute, he either spends it with his family, who work alongside him, or works with Todos Al Agua in order to improve the state of water around him.
“The farm gives me a lot of peace of mind,” he said. “I manage my schedule, manage it my way. It is my company, and I have to take good care of it to take care of the well-being of my family.”
Looking forward, Cañaveral said he hopes to continue improving the quality of the water and of his own farm. Additionally, he wants to keep spending time with his family, which includes his two daughters, one five-year-old and one seven-year old.
When asked why people should consider buying his coffee, Cañaveral stated the importance of outside investments in Todos Al Agua. These investments are hugely instrumental in improving the quality of life for his family and coffee-growing families around him.
“If the client stops buying from us, we run out of resources to carry out the activities, and we can hardly change our impact on the environment,” he said. “People are not very aware and cut down the forests, pollute the waters, and thanks to the project, all this has changed, little by little. They buy our coffee mainly due to the positive impact that the project generates on the environment, thanks to the resources that come from the sale of coffee.”
Cañaveral said the improvements have been incremental, but noticeable. He also thanks everyone for purchasing the coffee grown by his family and neighbors.
“The coffee that we produce in this area is of very good quality,” he said. “The income we receive for the project has helped us a lot to take care of the environment. I am happy to be with my family and producing good quality coffee because this gives me peace of mind.”
You can support Cañaveral and his work at Todos Al Agua by purchasing the Pure Origin Peruvian coffee. A portion of every sale goes towards the philanthropic efforts in Colombia.
Cañaveral’s quotes were translated from his native Spanish.
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