Coffee Casualties:
Landmines in Coffeelands
James Hayes-Bohanan , Ph.D.
Coffee Maven and Geographer
Bridgewater State University
UPDATED November 6, 2010

A geograher and his cafezinho
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I had led two study tours to Nicaragua -- during which we discussed the revolutionary and post-revolutionary history that took place in its coffeelands -- before I recognized the importance of landmines. Since then, I have learned that almost 200,000 landmines have been removed from Nicaragua, but not before more than 1,000 of its people were killed. Since I was made aware of the special problems of landmines in coffee-growing communities throughout the world by the Coffeeland Landmine Victims Trust, this has become a growing part of my work.

The Coffeeland Landmine Victims Trust was established by the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development, which works throughout the world to help people with physical disabilities to develop their own capacity for rehabilitation. Its executive director, Michael Lundquist, is a graduate of Bridgewater State University and a friend to our current students. He has helped me to make direct connections between my students and the community of landmine victims that are undertaking their own community development in Nicaragua.
Coffeelands Trust

In addition to the articles on the Coffeelands Trust web site, I have begun to identify information about coffeelands and landmines from other sources.

Rehabilitating coffee in Angola is an overview from New Agriculturalist, which references Rehabilitating the coffee sector in Angola the full research paper by George Odour, CAB International. This is a challenging article for me. It describes in detail what would be needed to restore the once-thriving coffee sector of Angola to what it was prior to the periods of war that began in 1974. The sector in those days, however, was one in which small farmers were at a distinct disadvantage in the market place. As attention turns to restoring coffee production in Angola, perhaps a way can be found to create a new system that is better than the original.

Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan
Coffee Maven and Professor
Department of Geography -- Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, Massachusetts USA / EEUU / EUA
Affiliated Scholar, Institute for Coffee Studies
Vanderbilt University
jhayesboh @