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Lauren Baum

Lauren drafts original content for online, print, multimedia communications, and supports Root Capital's media relations efforts as needed. Previously, she worked as a communications associate at Climate Nexus in New York. Additionally she worked for Natural Capitalism Solutions in Longmont, Colorado. Lauren holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


From 2 A.M. to Sundown: A Day in the Life of Carmen Blandón

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  May 24, 2016 1:35:45 PM

Carmen Blandón, member of Root Capital clien Solidaridad

Carmen Blandón, member of Root Capital client Solidaridad, at her home in Matagalpa, Nicaragua

For 52-year-old Carmen Blandón, her coffee farm is a business. And she’s the boss.

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, Mexico and Central America

Odds Stacked Against Her, This Woman is Rising to the Top of Her Game

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Mar 8, 2016 8:30:00 AM


Kenia Ubeda, general manager of UCCEI, a Root Capital client in Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Kenia Ubeda never thought she’d be running a coffee business. “I was an agronomist and a coffee farmer,” she says with a smile on her face. “I didn’t know the first thing about commercializing coffee.”

But the community leaders who tapped Kenia to found and run UCCEI, a farmer cooperative in the coffee-fueled town of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, knew she had what it took. And in 2009, Kenia rose to the challenge and became UCCEI’s general manager, overseeing a business currently sourcing from over 900 smallholder farmers in the region.

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, Mexico and Central America, Stories of Impact, Livelihoods

A Journey Through the Coffee Lands of Indonesia

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Jan 14, 2016 5:49:49 PM

When we made our first loan to Indonesian coffee cooperative Ketiara in 2014, it was the first loan we had made in Asia in nearly 10 years. Now, a little over a year later, we have five clients in the region – four of which are high-impact coffee cooperatives situated in the highlands of western Sumatra, in the region around Takengon.

New Zealand-based photographer Blake Dunlop was recently in Indonesia helping us collect photos of the beautiful backdrops of Takengon, the smiling faces of coffee farmers in the region, and a few of the coffee businesses we’re proud to work with. The images he captured were so stunning that we had to share them on our blog. 

Check out the photos below, all courtesy of Blake:


Low lying clouds over coffee farms in the village of Simpang Tiga

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Topics: Southeast Asia

Bringing Opportunity to an Area Marked by Violent Past

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Jan 8, 2016 2:48:27 PM


A young woman picks coffee on a farm associated with the Maya Ixil coop. Credit: Sean Hawkey

With towering oaks, gushing waterfalls and long green stretches of bountiful coffee trees, Guatemala’s Maya Ixil region is a place of lyrical beauty. But listen closely enough, and the lyrics tell an entirely different story – a story of an ugly past marked by heartbreaking violence.

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Topics: Peace, Mexico and Central America, Stories of Impact

Root Capital Client Shines at Bush Center’s 2015 Global Women’s Network

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Sep 25, 2015 10:27:47 PM

Plenary panel at the 2015 Global Women's Network. Photo credit: ExxonMobil Foundation

Earlier this week, Iliana Martinez, the general manager of Cooperativa Esquipulas, a smallholder coffee farmer cooperative and Root Capital client in the highlands of Guatemala, and Root Capital’s SVP Catherine Gill joined First Ladies, private and public sector leaders, and the next generation of innovators in Dallas at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s two-day Global Women’s Network summit.

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, Mexico and Central America

Con un poco de ayuda estas familias de agricultores orgánicos transitan el camino del éxito

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Sep 16, 2015 5:48:58 PM

En las tierras altas de Marcala, en Honduras, donde las calles no tienen nombre, para poder ir desde la iglesia - el punto principal de referencia que se utiliza en el pueblo– hasta la Cooperativa RAOS (la primera cooperativa de café 100% orgánica del país), es necesario contar con una de estas tres cosas: un mapa muy detallado, una guía local o una buena dosis de suerte.

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Topics: Environment, Mexico and Central America, Advisory Services, En Español, Stories of Impact, Livelihoods