Juntos: Creating Ties

Sustainable development through meaningful partnerships.

Choco-Late Night

Juntos After Hours:

A Night of Cacao with Juntos

A Night of Cacao with Juntos

Official Late Nights at Carnegie Mellon are super fun occasions for students to burn the midnight oil while connecting with a variety of organizations, initiatives, and university departments.

In our continued effort to reach out more to the campus community, Juntos hosted its first ever Late Night on April 15, 2014. We were immediately inspired to have a cacao themed event because of our history working with Rosa Grande’s chocolate co-op, ChocoTrim.  Most recently, ChocoTrim has coordinated with Juntos members to prepare Excel budgeting workshops, help with purchasing chocolate molds, and design a new brand logo.

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ChocoTrim in Rosa Grande

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The Chocolate Factory

We wanted to organize an event that was both entertaining and enjoyable, yet also gave  students a better understanding of how cacao is harvested and processed.  And ultimately, we wanted to challenge the campus to pursue more ethical means of  consuming everyone’s favorite chocolaty pleasure by:

  • Informing the Carnegie Mellon community about fair-trade, organic and whole-trade practices in agriculture, particularly cacao AND
  • Encouraging  Carnegie Mellon community members to taste a variety of cacao products from fair trade producers.

 

 Late Night Planning

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Wow cacao! The plant where it all begins.

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Filtering the dried cacao seeds

Mariana, Juan,  Javier, and Desiree formed a Juntos Late Night committee that spearheaded all of the logistics behind ChocoLate Night and briefed members working on other initiatives about their research findings and sparking discussions about fair trade chocolate practices with the larger campus community.  We all worked hard prepping and decorating the University Center on the day of the event.

Initially, we were really nervous about turn out, but ChocoLate Night was hugely successful.  Juntos received funding from CMU LateNight and the Department of Modern languages to purchase multiple flavors of fair trade chocolate bars, pretzels, and other treats for guests to sample. People played games including a fishing game with bottle caps (only two years ago, ChocoTrim used bottle caps as chocolate molds), digging for chocolate coins, and hopping into a balloon pen to try their luck at winning chocolate.  We encouraged learning about cacao by having participants read out little slips they discovered while playing games and asking questions in exchange for free chocolate. Latin and reggaeton music blared from speakers while students laughed with delight as they won games and delicious treats. ChocoLate Night was an extremely awesome experience for Juntos members and students as well. We hope to continue engaging with CMU’s campus about cacao and other subjects that we are passionate about by hosting more Late Nights in the future!!

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Javier, one of our chocolate panel of experts

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What wonderful turnout!

Check out a brief video of the event below!

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This entry was posted on April 12, 2014 by in Event, Initiatives, News and tagged , , , , .
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