Drawn by the lush cloud forests of Maderas and a desire to help protect Ometepe’s fragile ecosystem, the “Eco-delegation” brought binoculars and bird books to equip local guides. Delegates helped harvest the coffee crop and identified song birds that thrive in the Coop’s shady cafetales before migrating to the U.S. The Coop’s recent development of eco-tourism accommodations and its members’ enthusiasm to share their landscape and knowledge created a model for future BOSIA coffee delegations in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Commitment to sustainable coffee-growing and preservation of Maderas’ cloud forest led BOSIA representatives, including Bernabe Lopez to the Smithsonian’s first Sustainable Coffee Congress in Washington DC in 1996. BOSIA helped create Seattle Audubon’s Northwest Shade Coffee Campaign in 1999.