LAII Lecture Series: Women in Coffee and Chocolate

Mayra Orellana-Powell and Karla McNeil-Rueda

Monday, October 08, 2018 | 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Latin American and Iberian Institute

801 Yale Blvd NE (campus building #165)


Join us as we welcome special visiting guests from the coffee and chocolate industry, Mayra Orellana-Powell and Karla McNeil-Rueda, as they discuss their work as women of color entrepreneurs in the global supply chain industry of specialty coffee and cacao.

Mayra Orellana-Powell was born and raised in Santa Elena a small village in Honduras. Santa Elena is a small village located in the La Paz district in western Honduras, along the border with El Salvador. In her presentation, Mayra will share her vision to bring the finest sustainable coffee from her home region of Honduras to the USA with a firm commitment to the people and the environment of Honduras. Mayra started her company, Catracha Coffee, to showcase Honduran coffee, which she feels is under-appreciated in the coffee-drinking world, and to make a difference in the economic well-being of her hometown where coffee is grown by small producers. 

Karla McNeil-Rueda was born and raised in Honduras, which is known as one of the birthplaces of chocolate. She studied cacao technology and fine chocolate confectionery at the Chocolate Institute of Latin America and the Caribbean in La Habana, Cuba. Karla founded Cru Chocolate, a hand-crafted bean-to-bar company that sources fine cacao from Central America to use in chocolate and other cacao-based creations. Cru Chocolate's mission includes a focus on assisting women from the origin in creating and growing their own businesses.


This event is free and open to the public.