Over three weeks each January, CentreTerm gives students and faculty the chance to explore unique topics and faraway places through immersive courses, studying abroad or completing an internship or research project. Spanish major Lucas Mozingo ’20 (Hixson, Tennessee) is participating in an internship this term with Kumanday Coffee, based in Manizales, Caldas, Colombia.
The word “Kumanday” means “white, beautiful,” and refers to what indigenous people call the snow-covered volcano that towers over the main Colombian coffee-growing region.
Mozingo credits Genny Ballard, associate professor of Spanish, for connecting him with this internship.
“I am speaking Spanish daily, and without my knowledge of the language, which I developed in Spanish classes at Centre, I don’t believe I would be able to effectively do my job here,” he added.
Mozingo was brought in to Kumanday Coffee to help design a tour of their processing facility. In addition, he has helped edit and translate information used on the organization’s packaging.
“I’m a big coffee drinker, and I am a firm believer in tourism as a way to promote understanding between cultures,” Mozingo said. “A tourism-based internship with a coffee company made perfect sense for me. I would love to continue to develop this project and keep expanding the tourism infrastructure here in the ‘Eje Cafetero’ or the ‘Coffee axis’ of Colombia.”
His biggest takeaway from this experience so far has been learning the process of coffee production.
“Coffee cultivation and toasting is a complicated endeavor,” Mozingo said. “The processes and attention to detail which coffee producers put into their production would blow your mind. It’s important to learn about where your coffee comes from and how it arrived to the place where you’re drinking it.”
Lastly, Mozingo believes everyone should visit Manizales and experience this process first-hand.
“Colombia is a beautiful place with incredibly friendly people,” he concluded. “Colombia still gets a really bad reputation from U.S. media outlets, and many of the negative attributes it is known for are no longer problems in modern-day Colombia.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
January 10, 2020