ETL was created in 2007 by three students (Nate Ptacek, David Slifka and Andrea Carrow) on a semester abroad program in Guatemala. These students saw firsthand the importance, both socially and economically, of fair-trade coffee in their study abroad community. Once home, the students became advocates of fair-trade coffee and began planning their return trip to Guatemala; this time with a passion and desire to spread the significance of fair-trade coffee back to their local community.
After renewing connections made in Guatemala, the students set out to produce hours of footage, dozens of local interviews and endless hours of research. By spring 2008, they had produced a 22-minute documentary titled “Somos de Café” and Extending the Link was born.
Each ETL project begins in April after the previous year’s documentary premieres. The team brainstorms a new topic and location, then spends the summer researching and planning. Come fall, they are ready to begin marketing and fundraising for their upcoming production.
ETL hopes to continue to foster discussion on global issues through the creation of the annual documentaries. The documentaries are meant to ignite social change that empower students, faculty, alums and the greater community to work for improved social justice at home and abroad.