Johana is a young Colombian woman who, during the FARC armed conflict, lost everything but was reborn by reacting to take back her own life and for her children. She was determined to continue to live in her community in the fertile and unspoiled land of the Meta coffee growing region in the foothills of the Andes, where, in 2013, the Colombian government gave farming families like Johana’s the land previously used to grow illegal crops.
Together with Alexandra Roca, photographer and reporter, committed to women's rights and movements in support of indigenous communities, Johana is the protagonist of "Coffee Defenders: a Path from Coca to Coffee", a documentary that Lavazza followed in collaboration with the director Oscar Ruiz Navia, one of the most authoritative voices of Colombian contemporary cinema.
Alexandra and Johana had a mission: to bring one of the coffee plants that Johana grows from Meta, Colombia, to Cartago, Costa Rica. And here begins the journey through the Meta Colombia region, dotted with coca plantations but where coffee has become a symbol of change and redemption. The crops destined for coffee today represent the confirmation of the power of man's will to change, a value to be protected and defended. Driven by hope and an unshakeable belief in a better future, Johana was reborn through her work for her newly thriving coffee farm. She tells a story of courage and the emancipation of women.
The two protagonists have traversed places and cultures, and have met people who, like Joahana, experience the drama of war every day, but also the rebirth that can ensue. The objectives were to empower coffee growers, address Colombia’s rural challenges, drive the talents of the new generations of coffee growers, make decisions that improve productivity, and take on new challenges.
“In that period people grew coca,” remembers our protagonist, Johana. “I was afraid, but in the end, I said to myself, ‘I’m going back, because this is my home, and I can’t abandon it. It doesn’t matter if they want to kill me, let them, but I have to go back home.’”
Enjoy some videos and a series of backstage photos from the production through a video.
Download the Coffee Defenders Press Releases to discover all the details of the Lavazza first documentary.