Hey all! Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm Amanda Eastwood and I've just completed my first year in the Maternal and Child Health program. Since the age of fifteen, I've known that I have a heart to serve and empower women by meeting some type of a basic need. Over the course of the last decade or so, I've traveled, worked, and built relationships in a variety of settings, domestic and international, with many different influential and inspiring people, all of which have helped lead me to where I am now. :)
Four years ago I stumbled upon a most unique and wonderful company that imports specialty coffee from around the world and makes it available to roasters also found on all corners of the globe. I've had the immense privilege of working in sales for Cafe Imports which has taken me to coffee farms throughout Central America and conventionals, trade shows, and workshops all over the U.S. and even Korea! My work with them has been invaluable on so many levels and even provided me the opportunity to really delve into my interest in women's health.
In 2007 I found Grounds for Health (GFH), an international non-profit organization whose mission is the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer among women in the coffee producing communities they work in. I have since volunteered with them in Nicaragua and Mexico.
∙ An estimated 70,000 women in Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to die by 2030 due to causes related to cervical cancer
∙ 80% of the general population will contract HPV at some point in their life
∙ 90% of those infected will self-cure within two years
∙ 10% will have persistent HPV which will lead to cervical cancer in a small percentage of women if gone untreated
∙ Pre-cervical cancer develops from 5-10 years of initial HPV infection
∙ Cervical cancer develops from 10-20 years of initial HPV infection and is often fatal if not treated early
GFH works in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Tanzania and joins efforts with coffee cooperatives in each of their work sites so as to create sustainable and long lasting relationships in each of the communities so that once the GFH team is no longer present, local health providers and community health promoters can continue the work of educating, screening and treating. - There are thousands and thousands of coffee coops around the world but it just so happens that CESMACH, the coop I'll be working out of in Chiapas is one that we purchase coffee directly from. That means I will be working directly with women who produce the coffee that we buy and I have sold to many different customers all over the world. What a tremendous privilege to give back in such a direct and tangible way. Imagine my excitement when this opportunity came about?
I have much more to tell you about the work I'll be doing and such, however, I also still have some packing to do and I jet set tomorrow, June 9th. I'll be in Mexico City with friends until Monday and then I'm off to Jaltenango, Chiapas, my charming (and HOOOOT) town nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains.