Introducing our Giselle Roast!

Giselle DavilaNew Emiliani Project Coffee – Giselle Roast

We are launching a brand new coffee roast in March 2014!  This roast features an 8-year-old little girl named Giselle Davila (pictured left) who was rescued from the streets of Medellin, Colombia and brought to live in a children’s home run by our good friend and Colombian partner, Fundación Gente Unida.  Many of you have requested a roast that has a more full-body flavor than our Ximena roast.  So here it is.  The bean for our Giselle roast comes from San Agustin, Huila, Colombia.  It will be a full city plus roast for a darker, richer and more full-body flavor than our Ximena coffee.

For those of you who love our Ximena roast, it will still be available for purchase.  As always, 100% of all profits from the sale of all of our coffee goes to help us build our new children’s home in Medellin, Colombia.  Check out our Online Store for Giselle availability, and watch us on Facebook for updates.

Volunteer to Help Bag our Coffee

For those who live in the Southern California region, we are opening our doors to you to help us weigh, bag, seal and prepare coffee for shipping.  On March 2, 2014 at the Saint Margaret Parish hall in Oceanside, CA we will be hosting a packaging party to bring interested volunteers behind the scenes of our charity coffee company.  More details will be available soon.  Please watch our Facebook page for more updates.

Volunteer with Kids in Colombia!

The Emiliani Project is seeking volunteers to join us on our first group mission trip to Medellin, Colombia, April 6th to 27th.  We will be organizing a variety of mission activities to help with the construction of our new orphanage and work with the children we support.  Mission volunteers are welcome to join the group for all, or just part of the date range.

This trip will offer a once in a lifetime experience to work directly with at-risk children; and to see first-hand what it is like to do charity work in a foreign country.  We have been visiting churches in the Southern California area, talking to people about the trip.  So far we’ve had a great response and many people signing up!  Don’t miss out!  For more information, check out our December Newsletter; and keeping watching Facebook for more updates on our upcoming preparation meetings for the trip.

April 2014 Volunteer Trip to Colombia!

Volunteer with our kids!Volunteer with Kids in Colombia!

The Emiliani Project is seeking volunteers to join us on our first group mission trip to Medellin, Colombia, April 6th to 27th.  We will be organizing a variety of mission activities to help with the construction of our new orphanage and work with the children we support.  Mission volunteers are welcome to join the group for all, or just part of the date range.  This trip will offer a once in a lifetime experience to work directly with at-risk children; and to see first-hand what it is like to do charity work in a foreign country.  Here are some answers to some likely upfront questions.  Please contact us if you want to learn more.

What will I be doing on the trip?

Construction.  We have three buildings at the site of our new orphanage that are in need of renovation.  We will also be breaking ground on the new construction to include building two new classrooms that will be used by our kids.  Volunteers will we able to participate in some or all of our construction activities under the supervision of our construction team.  You can be a part of the solution for these kids.
Working with orphans.  The Emiliani Project currently supports more than 150 orphaned and abandoned children in the Medellin area.  Volunteers will have the opportunity to spend time with the kids, help orphanage staff with their duties, assist in day care and classrooms, and just spend time having fun with the kids.  We plan to organize BBQs and dances on the weekends!  These kids have few, if any, family.  They are in need of a lot of love and attention.
Working with schools.  Our charity partner in Medellin, Fundacion Gente Unida, operates five schools in the city for at-risk children.  Volunteers will be able to tour the schools, help out in classrooms and even teach classes.  Many of these kids have never seen an American in real life.  These kids are deprived of most things that you or I take for granted, so the experience of meeting and working with you is one they will remember for a lifetime.

Do I need to have certain skills?

No.  There is absolutely no experience needed to help.  The Emiliani Project team will work with you to find the right activities for you.  The trip will be planned and supervised by our team, so that your experience will be both safe and rewarding.

Will it be safe?

Yes.  This mission trip will be guided by two Emiliani Project board members: Mr. Jordan Reece and Mr. Chuck Navarrete; as well as our entire support team in Colombia.  We will oversee all of the above activities.  If you decide to do other things, we’ll help you plan them, so we’re sure you’re safe.

Do we travel as a group?  Pay travel costs as a group?

No.  First, we will make a list of all volunteers interested in going.  Then, volunteers will be invited to get together as a group before we go to talk about the trip and work out the details in person.  For those not able to attend in southern California, we will work with you individually to coordinate your travel plans.  The Emiliani Project team will provide you with recommended airlines and travel information to assist you with your planning.  We will educate you on everything you need to know, from visa/immigrations/customs information to what to pack.  We will even coordinate your in country transportation.  Each volunteer will be responsible for paying for his/her own personal travel expenses.

Where will I stay in Colombia?

It’s up to you.  There are basically three options: 1. Hotel/hostel in Medellin (at your own expense).  2. Free accommodation at the construction site (we have a newly renovated building complete with clean beds, showers, kitchen, washer/dryer). This location is 30km south of Medellin.  3. Free accommodation at the orphanage (ideal if you want to work with the kids 24/7).  This location is 30km north of Medellin.  All sites are safe for all.  You can do a combination of all if you choose.

Do I have to travel during the April 6th to 27th dates?

No.  Volunteers all have different constraints and not everyone will be in Medellin at the same time.  The Emiliani Project staff will be available any time during the April 6th to 27th window.  However, if you wish to arrive before or leave after these dates, we can work with you to coordinate safe volunteer time with our Colombian partners.

Who is paying for the construction?

Donors.  Volunteers will only pay for airfare, food and any hotels or tourist activities.  The Emiliani Project will begin a fundraising campaign between now and April to raise the money needed for renovation and construction activities.  We will encourage all of our volunteers to help us find donors to make pledges toward the construction, but it is not mandatory to participate in fundraising.

Can I also see the sites?

Of course.  We have a complete list of tourist activities that we can provide you.  And, we know many trusted, English-speaking local guides that can help you plan safe and exciting sightseeing trips.

Where do I start if I have more questions or want to volunteer?

Contact Chuck Navarrete at: [email protected] or (760) 470-0425.  Mr. Navarrete can answer your questions and/or add you to our volunteer group list.  Also, visit our Medellin Travel Guide page for basic information on getting to Medellin, Colombia.

The Emiliani Project: November Newsletter

Emiliani Christmas LogoHappy Holidays from The Emiliani Project

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we’re looking forward to a great Christmas season.  This is a great time of year to reflect on our lives and our individual role in the world.  We’d like to encourage you to think of “giving” as meaning more than just the giving of presents this year.  At The Emiliani Project we are working our way toward building a home for kids in another country, but we also feel that it is important to “give” to our local community as well.  We encourage you to do the same!  This holiday season, try taking a little time out to volunteer, or to choose a local community center or foundation to support.  Try involving your children, co-workers, friends and family.  Show them by example that we all need to work together as a community to thrive.  You will be surprised at how rewarding it is just to give even a little bit of your time and energy.  And it is infectious, so spread the giving virus!  Happy Holidays!

The Emiliani Project Coffee Store

The Emiliani Project gourmet Colombian coffee is now available in our online store!  Visit us at www.emilianiproject.org/shop to pick up whole bean or ground coffee by the bag or as a three, six, or twelve month subscription.  Send the gift of charity to a friend or loved one.  The store offers a great gift feature at checkout.  Just tell us where you’d like the gift sent and we’ll include a gift message to the recipient.  And remember, 100% of all profits from the sale of our coffee will go directly to help fund the construction and operation of our new orphanage in Medellin, Colombia.

First Mission Group to Colombia!

This spring, our first group of volunteers will be heading down to Medellin, Colombia to roll up their sleeves and help build the new home.  The group will get an opportunity to work on a variety of projects…everything from putting up new buildings to renovating old.  We plan to spend some time with the kids at the home getting to know them and having some fun!  We’ll also get some time to see some of the local sites and learn about the Colombian culture.  It’s going to be a safe, fun and rewarding experience.  We will be announcing dates in December.  If you are interested in joining just, please contact our Director of Missions at [email protected].

The Emiliani Project: October Newsletter

Ximena RoastRecent News: The Coffee is Coming!

The Emiliani Project gourmet Colombian coffee is on its way!  The online store featuring our new coffee will be up and running next week.  We will send out an official announcement via Facebook and Twitter; and the new site will be prominently featured on our Homepage.  As a reminder, 100% of all profits will go directly to help fund the construction and operation of our new home in Medellin, Colombia.

Status of Homesite Renovations

The Emiliani Project recently inspected the on-going renovations to the existing buildings on the site of our new home.  We are currently focusing on the complete renovation of the main house on the site, which will serve as our guest house for volunteers who wish to come down and help with future renovations and new construction.

Thus far, we have revamped the drainage and water-sealed the foundation to lesson future water damage; replaced all of the water/sewer lines to and from the house; replaced the toilets and sinks; and removed all of the old flooring and troublesome interior/exterior plaster.   This week we are installing the new floors and replacing damaged portions of the roof.  Between now and December we will be re-stuccoing the interior/exterior walls and completely replacing the kitchen.  The final phase of the main house renovation will include bringing in new appliances, beds, and adding hot water heaters.  We will be ready to bring volunteers down to stay by the first of the year!

Status of New Construction – Volunteer Friendly!

We have finalized all of the designs for the new home construction and have had the plans approved by the local municipality.  The city has agreed to allow us to license the new construction building-by-building.  This will give us the flexibility to incrementally build the home to coincide with funding and with the timing of mission group visits.  This means that as an Emiliani Project volunteer, you will be able to time your visit with a particular building or set of buildings with which you’re interesting in working on.  Want to build a library?  Maybe the chapel?  In 2014, we can now make that happen.  Soon we will be releasing a map of the phased construction to give you a better idea of what is available.  For more information on volunteering in Colombia, please contact our Director of Missions at [email protected].

The Emiliani Project: September Newsletter

Ximena RoastRecent News: Help by Drinking Gourmet Coffee!

On November 4, 2013, Emiliani International, in partnership with The Emiliani Project, will begin taking orders for our first line of specialty Colombian coffee. We are calling it the Ximena roast – named after Ximena Lizeth Cuartas, a 5 year-old little girl living at the Gente Unida children’s home near Medellin, Colombia. The Ximena roast is made from 100% Colombian speciality coffee beans, imported to the United States from the coffee region near the new children’s home being built by The Emiliani Project. All profits from the sale of the coffee will go directly to The Emiliani Project in support of the construction and operation of the new home for orphaned and abandoned children.

The Colombian beans will be imported into the United States by Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders. Bodhi Leaf Coffee is a Southern California coffee trading company that works directly with the farmers in Colombia, ensuring “fair trade” relationships in order to promote greater economic benefits to the local farmer and high quality, consistent coffee beans for our Ximena roast. The Ximena roast will be available for purchase through our online store November 4.

Our gourmet coffees will be sold both to generate revenue for the new home in Colombia, and to raise awareness for these children and the great need they have of our help. Each roast will be named after an orphaned child, and will include his or her photo, along with a brief summary of his or her story. The Ximena roast features Ximena Lizeth Cuartas, but future roasts will feature different Colombian orphans being helped by the efforts of The Emiliani Project.

Our coffees will offer our customers a terrific cup of coffee at a reasonable price, and the added knowledge that they are helping children in great need of saving. Our mission with our coffees is to raise money and awareness, but also to provide a high-quality, great tasting coffee.

The Story of Ximena

Ximena Lizeth Cuartas was abandoned two years ago by her mother, a young girl herself that worked as a prostitute in the streets of Medellin. Today Ximena lives in the Gente Unida home, just 30 minutes north of Medellin. The home is operated by our good partner Fundacion Gente Unida who is helping us build our new home in Caldas. Ximena lives at the home with her two brothers – Julian Alexander (2 years old) and Keiner David (7 years old), along with the 137 other children at the home.

Home Construction Update

We had our final meeting with the city of Caldas this month to discuss the final architectural designs for new construction. The Mayor and her team loved the designs. They proposed an expansion to the existing public school at the edge of the property using city funds, something which would benefit both the children living in the home and the local community. The plan is currently being reviewed. Meantime, renovations continue on the existing structures. We are planning a visit in October to see the latest changes.

The Emiliani Project: August Newsletter

St Edward the ConfessorRecent News: Mission Cooperative

The Emiliani Project spent much of August showcasing our children’s home project to church communities in Southern California. We visited the Church of the Immaculate Conception in San Diego; and Saint Edward the Confessor and San Felipe Chapel in Dana Point. It was a wonderful experience. The people and staff of all three parish communities welcomed us with open arms. We presented a story of one of the abandoned children that is part of our Emiliani family. Her story is a sad one, but one that is a testament to the hardships these children face every day. We were blessed by the outpouring of support of these good people in response to her story. We want to thank everyone that we had the opportunity to meet and we look forward to working with the many people from these communities who have volunteered to help The Emiliani Project. If you are interested in volunteering, or you know someone who is, visit our Join Us page to receive more details.

Climb for Kids 2013: Mount Elbrus, Russia

Our Climb for Kids was a tremendous success! We reached the top of Mt Elbrus and planted The Emiliani Project flag on the highest point in Europe, AND we raised over $8,000 for our home in Medellin, Colombia in the process. A huge thank you to all who helped make it possible, especially those who supported us with pledges. As a reminder, 100% of pledge money will go directly to the construction of our children’s home. Everyone who pledged will receive a special thank you from us, along with your receipt for tax purposes. Thank you!

The Emiliani Project Coffee

We are getting very close to the release of our new gourmet coffee! We will be importing gourmet Colombian coffee beans from the region surrounding our children’s home, roasting the beans in California, then selling the coffee retail – with 100% of profits going directly to our children’s home. Our initial release will take place through our online store – coming soon! Eventually our goal is to be in a grocery store near you. If you are interested in helping us out with our launch, please visit the Join Us page to volunteer.

The Emiliani Project: July Newsletter

Mount ElbrusRecent News: Climb for Kids 2013: Mount Elbrus, Russia

On July 22, 2013, Emiliani co-founder Jordan Reece will be travelling to southwestern Russia to climb the highest mountain peak in Europe to raise awareness and money for our the construction of our home in Colombia. We are looking for your show of support! As part of our Climb for Kids 2013 campaign, we are soliciting pledges. Jordan is paying for the climb himself, so 100% of pledge money goes directly to The Emiliani Project home for orphaned children in Medellin, Colombia. We have already raised more than $7,000 in pledges! Thank you all so much for your generosity. There is still time to pledge if you haven’t already! If you want to follow Jordan’s trip and watch his progress up the mountain, visit our Facebook page where we’ll be posting photos and updates. You can see Jordan’s complete itinerary, visit a real time map of the climb, or make a pledge in support of the climb by visiting our Climb for Kids 2013 page for more information. You don’t have to donate now, just pledge an amount in support of the climb. All pledges are tax deductible!

Renovations Continue

We are about half way through our renovation of the main house on the Caldas, Colombia site where we will be building our new home for orphaned kids. We have repaired and waterproofed the foundation, replaced all of the plumbing, added gutters and new ground drainage, and replaced the toilets. Thanks to a very generous donation from the Socoda company in Medellin, we are getting a new kitchen soon. We are meeting with other potential donors in August, so we’re hoping for a new floor in coming weeks. The renovation of the main house is primarily designed to provide suitable living conditions for volunteers who want to come down and help with the construction of the new buildings. Once the home is built, the main house will be converted to the administration building for the children’s home. If you’re looking to volunteer to come down and help, we are happy to accommodate. Just visit our Mission Trips page for more information.

The Emiliani Project: June Newsletter

Mount ElbrusClimb for Kids 2013: Mount Elbrus, Russia

On July 22, 2013, Emiliani co-founder Jordan Reece will be travelling to southwestern Russia to climb the highest mountain peak in Europe to raise awareness and money for our the construction of our home in Colombia.  We are looking for your show of support!  As part of our Climb for Kids 2013 campaign, we are soliciting pledges.  Jordan is paying for the climb himself, so 100% of pledge money goes directly to The Emiliani Project home for orphaned children in Medellin, Colombia.  Our pledge goal is $25,000.

Visit our Climb for Kids 2013 page for more information.  You don’t have to donate now, just pledge an amount in support of the climb.  All pledges are tax deductible!

Click on the thumbnail of Mount Elbrus for a 360 degree view of the mountain.

Renovations Begin!

We have begun renovations on the existing buildings at the Caldas site (30 mins south of Medellin) for our new home.  We are preparing the way for volunteers to join our efforts in the continued restoration of the buildings and the new construction to come.  We are travelling to Colombia on June 29th to check the status of the renovations and spend some time getting the kids involved.  Break out the hardhats!  We’ll be posting photos upon our return.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook.

New Construction Design Status

After eight months of hard work, we have completed the designs for the new construction!  On our June visit, we will have our final team design approval meeting, then we will be submitting the plans to the City of Caldas for our building permits.  We will be meeting with city officials to complete our negotiations on mutual benefits we can achieve through the project.  The Mayor of the City of Caldas is hoping to leverage the new classroom space provided by our project, allowing children from the local community to attend school there.  In return, The Emiliani Project is hoping to remove the burden of permitting fees and taxes on the home and gain school teachers paid for by the city.  We’re excited about our new partnership with the city as it has the potential for a strong win-win outcome.  More to come.

Climb for Kids 2013: Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus
Recent News – We would climb a mountain for our kids!

The Emiliani Project is kicking off our summer fundraising campaign with Climb for Kids 2013.  On July 22, 2013, Emiliani co-founder Jordan Reece will be leaving for southwestern Russia to climb the highest mountain peak in Europe to raise awareness and money for our project in Colombia.

Jordan is going to document his journey with photos, video, and a real-time online feed of his progress as he climbs to plant The Emiliani Project banner on the top of the 18,510 foot peak.

We are looking for your show of support!  As part of our Climb for Kids 2013 campaign, we are soliciting pledges.  You make a small financial pledge and Jordan will do all of the heavy lifting!  Jordan is paying for the climb himself, so 100% of pledge money goes directly to The Emiliani Project home for orphaned children in Medellin, Colombia.

Our pledge goal for Climb for Kids 2013 is $25,000.  For more information on the climb and how you can support by making a pledge visit our Climb for Kids 2013 page.

Remember, your pledges are fully tax deductible!

The Emiliani Project: May Newsletter

Coffee in Concordia, ColombiaRecent News – Emiliani Tour of the Coffee Region

We just returned from a tour of the coffee region surrounding Medellin this month.  We visited and toured the operations and farms of many of the local farmers in the cities of Concordia, Bolivar, Andes and Jardin.  The tour was part of our research for The Emiliani Project coffee.  We are looking into the possibility of selling gourmet Colombian coffee and using 100% of the profits to help fund the project.  We have more research to do, but stay tuned for more information on Facebook.

Project Design Status –  Caldas, Colombia

The designs for our first project are almost complete.  We are on schedule to finish the architectural and structural designs and obtain our city building permits by July 1.  The design completions come off a very long series of studies designed to ensure safe living conditions for the children, including a topographic study to chart terrain, a water study to analyze potability of local water supplies, a soil study to defend our structures against mudslides, and an electrical study to guard against lightning!  It’s been a lot of work, but it will all be worth it soon.  As soon as our designs are approved by the City of Caldas, we’ll be posting the final renderings in Facebook.

Getting Ready for Missionaries

Starting in June, we’re beginning our renovations of existing buildings at the Caldas project site for the purposes of preparing for volunteer mission groups.  In the main house, we are renovating the kitchen, bathrooms, and making repairs to the building’s drainage infrastructure.  We’re also bringing in new beds, mattresses and bedding along with a washer and dryer.  We’re even bringing in electric water heaters!  It’s not going to be fancy, but we’ll have everything in place to support groups of U.S. and Canadian Missionaries while they help with work on the project and doing outreach in the local community.  We’re very excited about it!