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Faces Behind Your Coffee

Ilene Perlman | Rwanda

Welcome to Rwanda
Jeanne Uwineza takes a break from working at the Gashonga washing station
Cyangugu, Rwanda 2015

These photographs are from my recent trip to Rwanda to document the people behind the coffee industry. In Rwanda most of the coffee farmers are part of small cooperatives representing 100-300 farmers. My images were taken visiting the farmers at their homes and their fields and the washing stations where the local people are employed to help the long process of drying the coffee. I met an amazing group of widows from the genocide who formed a smaller collective within the Gashonga coffee cooperative to help each other out. After witnessing untold tragedies 20 years ago they banded together and started with 150 trees. Up until a month ago they were up to 1500 trees until a recent hailstorm destroyed half the crop. They are now struggling to start the process again.

These photographs are from my recent trip to Rwanda to document the people behind the coffee industry. In Rwanda most of the coffee farmers are part of small cooperatives representing 100-300 farmers. My images were taken visiting the farmers at their homes and their fields and the washing stations where the local people are employed to help the long process of drying the coffee. I met an amazing group of widows from the genocide who formed a smaller collective within the Gashonga coffee cooperative to help each other out. After witnessing untold tragedies 20 years ago they banded together and started with 150 trees. Up until a month ago they were up to 1500 trees until a recent hailstorm destroyed half the crop. They are now struggling to start the process again.

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