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Allendale Expat To Return Home After Pouring Heart Into Ecuadorian Café

Andra and Josh Carter own La Cosecha, a popular cafe in Otavalo, Ecuador. Photo Credit: Andra Carter
La Cosecha is in Otavalo, Ecuador. Photo Credit: Andra Carter

ALLENDALE, N.J. – Allendale native Andra Carter is ready to leave her expat life in Ecuador behind and return to the states.

But all hasn’t gone exactly according to plan for the 1999 Northern Highlands Regional High School graduate and her husband Josh.

The couple owns La Cosecha, a popular café in Otavalo, Ecuador, and didn’t want to sell it to just anyone and leave their workers vulnerable. So in July, they set up an online fundraising campaign to help their employees purchase the café themselves.

The campaign “was not successful, despite all of our efforts,” Carter recently told Daily Voice.

Now she and her husband have a new plan for the café that has become a haven for tourists and locals alike.

“We have put a new General Manager in place which will allow us to proceed with our plans to move home without any concerns or added stress,” Carter said.

“We feel strongly that she's going to be really good for the business … and the employees are looking forward to having her guide things once we leave,” she said.

It’s those employees that the Carters are most concerned about.

At La Cosecha, they receive a sustainable wage, health care and a safe working environment, which Carter said is not easy to come by in the area.

“We hope to ultimately find a buyer who understands our vision and really can see that the employees we currently have are an integral part of the business and its success,” Carter said.

But for now, with a plan in place, the Carters are preparing to move back to the United States and make visits to their café.

“We’re excited for the next chapter in our [personal] lives and look forward to visits,” Carter said.

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