Until Sunday, You Can Plant New Coffee Trees in Puerto Rico Through the Hispanic Federation

Nespresso Clooney BELatina
Photo Credit NESPRESSO

A new, long-term relief initiative in Puerto Rico kicks off this week through a dream team of celebrity, industry, and advocacy organizations. Lin-Manuel Miranda calls the coalition the coffee Avengers,” and they’re here to revitalize the island of Puerto Rico, one coffee tree at a time.

Miranda, as well as long-time Nespresso celeb brand ambassador George Clooney, has partnered up with the Hispanic Federation, Starbucks, the Rockefeller Foundation, TechnoServe, and World Coffee Research to plant coffee trees on the island of Puerto Rico and reestablish the coffee industry over the next several years. In an ad released by Nespresso, Miranda dubs this team the coffee Avengers and chats with Clooney about his personal connection to the project. “I think I started drinking when I was six… when youre a kid you drink it with lots of milk,” he explained, making Clooney laugh. He also revealed that he and his cousins all have a matching, tiny tattoo of a coffee cup on their wrists and ankles.

Lin-Manuel Nesspresso Plant a Tree
Photo Nespresso

Over the next four years, the Hispanic Federation wants to plant over 2 million new trees. Stepping in as critical investors, Nespresso and the Hispanic Federation both have put $1 million each toward the project. Starbucks and the Rockefeller Foundation each have committed about half a million dollars, and TechnoServe is training local farmers to optimize the project. The coffee plants are being donated by Starbucks.

You can also help by donating directly to the Hispanic Federation. Through Sunday, every dollar you donate funds the planting of one coffee tree. Donating $10 gets you early access to the inaugural release of Nespresso’s Cafecito de Puerto Rico pods once they hit the market.

Though there’s a lot of big, corporate names attached to the relief initiative, financial and technological resources will be directed toward local, small coffee growers with the goal of investing in a self-sustaining economy. This important effort to revitalize Puerto Ricos coffee sector will help to build the economy, bring back jobs and restore hope for so many of our brothers and sisters on the island,” said Rajiv. J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, in a statement.

More than three-quarters of Puerto Ricos coffee trees and harvest were obliterated by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. Two years on, coffee farmers have simply not had the resources they need to rebuild what is a key industry on the island, and even in the best-case scenario the farmers won’t have any crops to sell for a few years; it takes about three years for a plant to mature.