Few residents of Boto, a farming village in the highlands of southwestern Ethiopia,

have traveled farther than their feet can carry them. But their coffee circles the globe.

In this remarkable photo-essay book, the young people of Boto, a remote village in Ethiopia, reach across the barriers of language and culture to tell how coffee is changing their world. Although they still walk dirt paths to fetch water and use kerosene lanterns for light, the annual harvest of Boto’s Arabica beans now promises their families unprecedented economic transformation.

Notebooks and cameras in hand, eight Boto youth take Barbara Cervone (of the nonprofit What Kids Can Do) through their daily routines for a week, photographing and explaining as they go. From morning prayers to marriage rituals, cattle-tending to hair-braiding, they translate their everyday lives for outsiders who drink their rich dark coffee daily on the other side of the world.

Along the way, they weave in fascinating information about Ethiopia’s geography, demographics, and political economy. They explain why grass roofs give way to tin, why overflowing streams dry up as settlements expand. They describe the groundbreaking cooperative that Boto farmers have organized to process and market their collective coffee harvest, worldwide.

For all its factual interest, this book also brings vividly alive the universal adolescent desires for identity, fun, love, and a place of respect in their world. On one page these Boto teenagers strive for the education vital for their futures, but on the next they sing playful songs while doing chores, or try out the latest clothing styles. Such details make this a compelling book for all ages as it enlightens, inspires, and forges crucial bonds across the continents.

Edited by Barbara Cervone (Next Generation Press, March 2012)

ISBN: 978-0-9815595-6-8 
  90 pages, 56 color photos
  $12.95 (USD) softcover          

NOTE: Twenty percent of the proceeds from In Our Village: Boto, Ethiopia Through the Eyes of Its Youth will fund scholarships for Boto youth to attend secondary school.


Next Generation Press @ WKCD | PO Box 605232, Providence, Rhode Island 02906 USA |(+01)  401.247.7665 (P) | (+01) 401.245.6428 (F)


On February 18, 2012 the coffee produced by the Duromina Cooperative in Boto won first prize at the prestigious East Africa Taste of Harvest competition, beating 36 of the best coffees from 8 countries.