Three Generations of Transformation in Your Cup

Three Generations of Transformation in Your Cup

February 16, 2024

While Melissa is not a member of our San Lazaro farm team, her life story is greatly shaped by our work on the farm. At 23 years old, Melissa is the oldest of five children and lives with her mom, siblings, and her six-year-old son in a small home that her mother built.

Melissa gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Douglas, when she was only 17, becoming a mother at an age where many of us were thinking about which college to go to or who we wanted to go with to prom. This drastic life change at a young age could have produced some negative outcomes for Melissa’s future, but instead it produced a strong determination in her to do more for her son and to achieve bigger goals and dreams for herself.

Melissa’s mother, Sonia, is one of the cheerful, smiling faces you see often when we post on social media. She’s part of our farm team at San Lazaro, and she’s been Melissa’s greatest support. Because of Sonia, when Melissa dreamed of continuing her high school studies after becoming a mother, she was given a scholarship to study at Lazarus Academy.

Melissa studying at Lazarus Academy

Sonia and the entire family were filled with pride to see Melissa graduate a couple of months ago, watching her earn her education despite the early mornings and late nights studying and long travel time to and from school. And Melissa’s former teachers say that she is an intelligent, dedicated student with a cheerful can-do attitude. Her high school diploma has opened doors for her, and is an important milestone in her life as she dreams of going on to study nursing and ultimately working to help people in her small community of Las Flores.

The future is looking bright for Melissa’s son, too. He’s following in his mom’s footsteps and will start elementary school next year. 

Melissa graduating from high school with her mom, Sonia and son, Douglas

With Sonia’s support and the opportunity to study through Mission Lazarus, Melissa has the tools to be an empowered and confident woman and to change the world in her own way. She says she hopes to set a good example for her son through her hard work and dedication. This sort of determination and commitment to rise above is what will change families and change legacies on our mountainside. Melissa and Sonia both praise God daily for the chance they were given to make a better life for their family, stating that it’s important not to ignore when God speaks because you never know what opportunity for a blessing might be passing by.

When you drink our coffee, you support more than the amazing crew of women on our farm team: you support their families and their communities. Thank you for coming alongside us in this journey to help people live abundant lives now and for eternity.

Sonia picking coffee cherries at San Lazaro Coffee farm



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