Degree Project


Researcher and Strategist


December 2017


Volarán • Universidad of the Andes | 2018

In recent years, coffee production in Colombia has become a socially unsustainable productive model, so children and third age are excluded from it. Although adults are considered old and do not receive opportunities in coffee production, they are forced to sell their farms because their family has migrated. Otherwise, they lose their money, became in total economic poverty and finish their lives in nursing homes, even when they can carry out some parts of the coffee production process.

Coffee Masters is a design strategic model, focused on creating a community farm program for the coffee production field in Santuario, Risaralda, Colombia. It is intended for older adults who pass or are close to being helpless by society and their families. Seeks to provide affection, identity, participation, and support.


_01 Formalization
Formalization of the crucial alliances in the project to have the needed capital for a correct implementation.

_02 Legalization
Procedures to obtain the operating license and paperwork to the institution Colombia Mayor with the required documents.

_03 Atraction
Inviting people (Independents in Autumn profile) who possess territory to be part of the project, offer their property to the program and become part of the Collaborative Estates.

_04 Vinculation
Approach the project through different tools to the elderly and join them to the Coffee Masters program so they can be part of the Collaborative Farm.

_05 Adecuation
Organize work teams to make corrections and improvements in the farm chosen for the Coffee Masters program. Perform two partnerships with the Schools in Santuario and the Federation of Coffee Growers.

_06 Consolidation
All stakeholders come together in the territory to accommodate it and consolidate the Coffee Masters Estate. It will work as a collective construction where the next residents and the community will participate together.

_07 Disertation
Workshops intended to grown coffee plantations within the community using the latest technology. Classes will be given directly to the coffee plantation by members of the National Federation. It will be divided into 8 modules and ordained according to the crop stage.

_08 Iniciation
Residents of the Coffe Masters program move to their new home in the collaborative farm. It is the starting operating moment of the farm.

Maestro Coffee will work as a knot to attract Older Adults to the program and as an extra incoming in the future. Low-scale crops will be created on the farm so that residents can grow them.


The entire research process starts with an intrinsic motivation to understand the degeneration of the countryside and its residents, especially the elderly in Colombia. During the six months of work, I was able to start conversations with people from the entire coffee production process, and understand the reason why older adults end up in extreme poverty. Below I evidence four (04) achievements in the process:

_The generational relief enigma.

Different guided tours showed a problem in the current coffee production model as it excludes some generations. It is a socially unsustainable model without generational change.

_Understanding the third age role.

Understanding the productive model in Santuario perceived from third age adults allowed me to understand the coffee production process and the different user profiles.

_Four determinants, better quality life.

An older adult farm model that provides identity, support, affection, and strengthens the social well-being of people involved, proposes a new role for third age in the productive coffee model.

_Strategy Co-construction.

Different meetings with government and older adults help me to prototype the benefits and requirements of the program. For a month, the final plan was co-built and improved with those involved in the process.

Examples (in Spanish) of different stuff created in the design process to understand and build the profiles and the coffee production process in Santuario, Risaralda.