Agronomy Graduate Manages ‘Labor of Love’


Gladys Rivera discovered her love for coffee as a first-year student. Now, the 2013 UAC-CP Agronomy graduate is most often found at the College’s coffee factory, where she oversees every step to transform the beans into a morning brew.

The process Gladys uses for the coffee is meticulous and thorough, yielding organic coffee that is all hand-picked and hand-produced.

In a long routine that includes harvesting, separating, washing, drying, roasting, and packaging, Gladys tries to help students go beyond the theory they learn in the classroom to understand the practical aspect of coffee production.

“Making coffee is an art,” she said. “You need to be patient and caring. If you aren’t, you’ll get mediocre coffee. But when done right, you have a rich, exotic flavor that’s characteristic of coffee grown at high altitude here in the Yungas.”

Gladys believes that with more investment, the coffee plant will continue to generate income for the College, as well as provide a market for local coffee farmers.

The export of UAC-CP coffee to the U.S. in the past 2-3 years has allowed Gladys to see the potential to expand to other fair-trade, specialty coffee sellers across the globe.

Business aside, the focus of Gladys’ work never strays from the College’s mission: to form students as professionals and as people. “I want to help our students contribute something positive to this world,” she said.

“When we put our emblem on the coffee beans, we are telling the world that this is a representation of the UAC-CP that we all helped to create. Each bag of coffee is a labor of love from the entire Carmen Pampa community.”

Special thanks to UAC-CP volunteer Sarah Neuberger for writing this story.

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