Beyond Fair Trade: Building Just Relationships



There are no upcoming programs scheduled at this time. Please come back later or inquire about setting your own program dates.

UUCSJ partners with Equal Exchange to offer interfaith journeys to Nicaragua.


Experience a week-long immersion that explores the power of fair trade to improve the lives of producers and help consumers live their values 
What is this journey like?

Based in the coffee growing regions around Esteli, we will stay with and learn from members of an Equal Exchange coffee cooperative, assist with harvest or coffee planting, and meet with a variety of feminist and human rights groups.

What are the upcoming Fair Trade journeys?

There are no upcoming programs scheduled at this time. Please come back later or inquire about setting your own program dates.

Who can go on a Fair Trade journey?

This journey is designed as an interfaith program. It is open to participants from any background who are interested in exploring the connection between spirituality and social justice.

Every journey includes 1-2 representatives from Equal Exchange, who serve as fair trade experts, and the journey will be led by 1-2 UUCSJ Program Leaders.

We also travel with an on-the-ground Nicaragua consultant, a translator and a bus driver.


How much does a Fair Trade journey cost?

Cost: $1,000 per person, not including airfare. Additional expenses may include passport application or renewal and vaccinations. UUCSJ is committed to making our programs accessible to all regardless of their financial situation.

Financial aid is available for up to 50% of program costs based on need and is awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Please fill out the financial aid request section of the program application.

For additional fundraising we recommend that participants use Faithify, the Unitarian Universalist crowd funding website, which can help individuals raise money to cover their costs.

What is Equal Exchange?

From the Equal Exchange website:

Our Mission

Equal Exchange’s mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.

Our Story

Equal Exchange has created Big Change for over 25 years. It all started with an idea: what if food could be traded in a way that is honest and fair, a way that empowers both farmers and consumers? Our founders – Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal and Michael Rozyne – asked this question as they envisioned a trade model that values farmers and consumers. So they took a big risk and plunged full-force into changing a broken food system. In 1986, they started with fairly traded coffee from Nicaragua and didn’t look back. Read our story

Our Model

At Equal Exchange we believe that we should expect no less from ourselves and each other than we demand of our farmer partners. For that reason we have organized ourselves as a democratic worker cooperative, now one of the largest in the country. A worker cooperative is an alternative for-profit structure based upon standard democratic principles. It is not designed to maximize profits, nor returns to investors, but rather to bring to the workplace many of the rights and responsibilities that we hold as citizens in our communities. More

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to download our Frequently Asked Questions about this program.

Sample Itinerary

Click here to download a sample itinerary for this program.

Resources for the Fair Trade Journey:

Fair Trade Comic

This graphic pamphlet from Equal Exchange explains some of the history and philosophy behind the Fair Trade movement.

Living in the Shadow of the Eagle

We strongly recommend this highly readable book containing an important overview of Nicaragua’s history.


Harvest of Empire

A full-length film which offers an invaluable glance at the history of US imperialism in Latin America.

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Heather Vickery is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with UU congregations, State Action Networks, past UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) program participants, and regional staff in order to expand engagement in UUSC and UUCSJ’s work. As the Coordinator for Congregational Activism, she manages the workshop offerings and group visits to the UUSC/UUCSJ office and assists with communications for the Activism and Justice Education Team. Heather is an active member of the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network and a dedicated dog-mom to her rescue puppy Nova.

Heather may be contacted at and 617-301-4303