From Seeds of Hope to a Coffee Revolution: The Camiguin Dream of Excelsa

In the tranquil island of Camiguin, nestled amidst pristine landscapes and untouched beauty, a group of dedicated individuals have been quietly sowing the seeds of hope and change. Taste and See Camiguin and Farm of Hope, under the wings of Dagat Adlaw Foundation, is an NGO committed to lifting the impoverished communities of Camiguin out of their struggles. With programs ranging from healthcare initiatives to education support, they have been working tirelessly since 2001 to create a brighter future for the island’s residents.
Recently, they embarked on an ambitious coffee project with the vision of becoming self-sufficient, steering away from external financial support, and propelling Camiguin into the limelight as a producer of premium Excelsa coffee. Though they may be small now, their dreams are vast and inspiring. 
Let’s dive into their journey, their aspirations, and the potential transformative impact of their endeavors!
The Seeds of Camiguin’s Hope
Taste and See Camiguin and Farm of Hope’s journey began with the altruistic vision of its founders, one of whom hails from Norway, bringing with them valuable experience as an exchange student in the United States. The idea was to create a lasting impact by empowering the locals through various programs, with a special emphasis on education as the pathway to break free from the clutches of poverty.
Over the years, they have poured their hearts and souls into the community, building essential facilities like health centers and water systems, supporting students’ education, and offering livelihood opportunities to the needy. Their philosophy of “Dream big, start small, start today” embodies the ethos of taking consistent and determined steps towards a brighter future.
The Coffee Project: A Path to Self-Sufficiency
Driven by a passion for coffee, one of the co-founders of Taste and See Camiguin and Farm of Hope realized the potential of coffee production as a means to sustain and expand their philanthropic endeavors. The coffee project became the lifeline to their dream of becoming self-sufficient and steering away from relying on external funding.
Their venture into coffee farming, with guidance from a knowledgeable Filipino coffee roaster and support from an Indian farming team for organic fertilizers, commenced with just 200 coffee trees. However, the initial challenges of the project were not to be underestimated, as a substantial number of the 1600 planted trees perished before bearing fruit. Yet, the team persevered, taking one step at a time, cleaning and preparing the land with every opportunity they received.
From Humble Beginnings to Grand Ambitions
With the guiding principle of starting small and growing steadily, the Taste and See Camiguin and Farm of Hope coffee project has evolved into a beacon of hope for the future. The team’s dedication to remaining debt-free showcases their commitment to financial responsibility and sustainability.
As they strive to expand their reach, they are gradually introducing Excelsa cultivation to other farms in Camiguin, an initiative welcomed and encouraged by local government officials. Their long-term vision of making Camiguin a hub for Excelsa coffee production holds the potential to boost the island’s economy and foster tourism. Imagine a future where tourists flock to Camiguin to experience the organic coffee farm, sip on premium Excelsa coffee, and revel in the picturesque views.
Challenges and Triumphs: Nurturing a Coffee Dream
The road to success has been far from smooth for Taste and See Camiguin and Farm of Hope. Limited resources and funding constraints have posed significant obstacles in realizing their goals. However, their resilience and creativity shine through as they devise innovative solutions to challenges such as dehulling the coffee over open fire until they can afford a roaster.
In the face of adversity, they have not compromised on their core values. Every step they take, every decision they make, is driven by their unwavering commitment to empowering the local community and effecting positive change.
Cultivating an Ethical and Organic Coffee Culture
The coffee industry is not without its controversies, from exploitative practices to environmental concerns. Taste and See Camiguin and Farm of Hope’s coffee project seeks to set a shining example of ethical and sustainable coffee production. By cultivating organic coffee, they not only produce a superior product but also protect the environment and promote health-conscious consumption.
Their vision of becoming a renowned producer of single-origin, organic, and high-quality Excelsa coffee aligns with the growing global demand for responsible and environmentally-friendly products.
Taste and See Camiguin and Farm of Hope’s journey from a small NGO to an ambitious coffee project exemplifies the power of dreams, determination, and compassion. Their dedication to uplifting the people of Camiguin showcases the transformative impact that individuals and organizations can have when they believe in the possibility of change.
The coffee project not only holds the promise of financial sustainability for their noble initiatives but also paves the way for Camiguin to emerge as a prominent player in the coffee industry. As the seeds of hope continue to grow, nurtured by the love and effort of a small team with a big dream, the future of Camiguin shines brighter than ever before. In the midst of their coffee trees, Taste and See Camiguin and Farm of Hope have sown the seeds of transformation, blooming into a powerful movement that holds the potential to uplift lives, invigorate the economy, and draw visitors to the beautiful island of Camiguin – a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the pursuit of a better world.

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