Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Support Warrior Coffee

The Warrior Coffee Project provides Lycoming students with one-of-a-kind, real-world, interdisciplinary service learning experiences, and your gift to Warrior Coffee supports this work. Click here to support any one of these incredible projects that benefit Lycoming students, as well as the coffee farming communities in the Peralta, El Naranjito, and Las Terrenas regions.

Make a Donation

Warrior Coffee Project

The Warrior Coffee Project helps connect Dominican coffee producers in the regions of El Naranjito and Peralta to the international specialty market in order to help them earn life-sustaining wages. Students continually work with producers to help them learn more about specialty coffee standards and how those standards are connected to harvesting and processing practices. Past initiatives include:

  • Providing assistance to producers in the purchase and replacement of coffee trees following the devastating Roya fungus and diversifying the shade canopy by adding other cash crops like macadamia and avocado.
  • The establishment of a micro-lending program for members of the El Naranjito Coffee Association, launched by 2019 political science students. This loan program, which has a 100 percent repayment rate, has helped producers replace de-pulpers to separate the coffee cherry from the bean and build a terrazza for drying green coffee beans. These upgrades help increase the quality of coffee in order to make their product more competitive on the international specialty market.

Lycoming continues to work toward empowering coffee producers to do what they love while also earning enough to provide for the basic needs of their families. Our long-term goal is to help this region become known for their production of the very best of Dominican coffees and a destination for coffee buyers from across the world.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Project

Women’s Entrepreneurship ProjectThe newest addition to Lycoming’s Dominican Republic Interdisciplinary Program lies in the newly-formed Mujeres de Emprendedoras, a micro-lending and business training program that enables women entrepreneurs in the Paralta/El Naranjito region to expand their businesses, grow their incomes, and provide much-needed good and services to the community — beginning with a group of five inspiring women.

Since our very first field experience in 2013, students have often commented on the integral part women play in all aspects of public and private life — cooking, providing childcare, and hosting meetings where they advocate for ideas that will facilitate community advancement, as well as record-keeping and financial management. The Warrior Coffee Project’s sustainable development approach means that all projects start with the community’s desire to collaborate on an issue they see as pressing. Mujeres de Emprendedoras fits that approach perfectly, formed after numerous conversations between Lycoming faculty and students and community members during the past several years.

We are thrilled to support these women in their entrepreneurial pursuits! Each participant already has a small business primarily run out of their home, and ideas on expansion, but lacks the capital or skills to do so. Mujeres de Emprendedoras collaborates with these women entrepreneurs on business training, and beginning in the fall of 2023, provides micro-loans to allow them to investment in their businesses. Not only will they and their families benefit from higher incomes, but the community will benefit from having necessary products like agricultural tools and solar powered lights and charging stations available for purchase in the remote mountain community where they live.

Education Project

Whether it be in Peralta, El Naranjito, or Las Terrenas, the schools of the Dominican Republic are filled with incredible teachers who are trying to make education accessible for students of all backgrounds. Lycoming’s education students, or teacher candidates, have worked on a variety of projects for the Dominican Republic Interdisciplinary Program over the past few years:

  • Teacher candidates develop their research skills by conducting needs assessments in Dominican schools to determine topics for ongoing professional development workshops, and develop leadership skills by creating and running the workshops for Dominican teachers.
  • During the academic year, teacher candidates have created videos of bilingual story readings and other pedagogical modeling.
  • Teacher candidates utilize evaluation criteria to select quality children's literature as part of an ongoing effort to help build classroom libraries, which were previously nonexistent in most schools.

Lycoming’s teacher candidates see the outcomes of their work during in-person visits at the schools and experience first-hand the implementation of those instructional strategies from the videos and books that have been donated. The children are always excited to see Lycoming students and love to show them different parts of the school, games, playgrounds, and classrooms. As the working relationship continues to grow and deepen, the various stakeholders have worked to collaborate in a manner that is beneficial to all.