Cafe Connection

In late 2011, we asked for help in funding a new facet of our work here in Arequipa, Café Connection.  Thanks to your help we were able to obtain a building for not just the cafe but that would also serve CUDA in a variety of ways.  We opened the cafe in February of last year in what we thought would be its home for a long time, but plans often change unexpectedly here and this was no exception.  Due to problems with the building’s ownership, we were forced to look for a new place, resulting in our current location in downtown Arequipa.  Strategically, this location is far superior and we feel blessed to have found it, and to have gotten such a good deal from the owner.  After only three months of regular operation in the new location, we are seeing more clients and higher sales than we had begun to have at the previous location.
This is important because we didn’t open the cafe just to have a place to hang out, nor to drink delicious coffee.  We opened this business to begin generating income for the organization as part of a long-term strategy of sustainability, and to open new avenues for spreading news of our social justice projects in Arequipa.  It is quite rewarding to see how far the cafe has come after a year in operation, especially considering that four months ago we changed location.  Already the cafe is nearing self-sustainability and with the added traffic of being downtown, the cafe workers are having lots of opportunities to share about CUDA projects.  Just today, a couple from Florida, who had visited the cafe yesterday and learned about us, dropped off books for the library program.  They had brought books with them to donate to a voluntourism agency, but after learning about our work yesterday decided to leave them with us.  We’ve made contact with other NGOs, tourist agencies, and businesses with whom we might partner, all thanks to the cafe.  The cafe has also served as a place for our churches to host events such as women’s meetings, parenting seminars and college student gatherings.  
So a big thank you to all of you who have prayed for Cafe Connection to be a success both financially and ministerially.  Keep praying!  Soon we’ll officially launch a language school, our next step toward keeping CUDA as self-sustaining as possible.  You can stay in the know by following CUDA and Cafe Connection on FB or Twitter.