Meet our 21 Champions: Get to know our green apron partners participating in this year’s Starbucks LAC Barista Championship!

One thing hasn't changed over the last 20 years since we opened our first stores in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC): our partners' passion for coffee!

We're proud of all the milestones we've reached in these two decades, but most importantly we are proud of the thousands of green apron partners that day in and day out handcraft our customers' favorite espresso-based drinks.

To recognize the skill and dedication of our green apron partners, as a company we celebrate the Barista Championship around the world. This year, the Championship will return to the LAC region, where partners will showcase their coffee passion, creativity and expertise. National Barista Champions from 21 unique LAC markets will compete across three days for the overall title, with a crowning at Starbucks coffee farm Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica.

Hosting the event at Hacienda Alsacia, Starbucks global agronomy headquarters, provides participating partners the unique opportunity to experience first-hand the first 10 feet of the coffee journey, which will enrich their knowledge of the last 10 feet: right before the cup of coffee reaches a customer.

Join the excitement of the Starbucks LAC Barista Championship and get to know this year’s contestants!



Partner since 2021

“Whenever I used to visit a Starbucks store, I loved seeing the camaraderie between the baristas, the vibe they created.

I’ve also always been interested in the world of coffee, especially the way it brings people together. As a barista I get to experience this firsthand through the genuine connections we get to have with customers. And I wasn’t wrong. It’s my first time competing and not once have I seen the other partners as a rival. Everyone’s so friendly and so eager to help. It’s been an enriching experience so far.”



Partner since 2015

“The Championship is a great opportunity to share your passion for coffee with other partners.

I’ve participated twice and I love the energy and how customers come in and show their support for us.

In my experience, as a barista you’ve got to be ready to make someone’s day, because sometimes a small act of kindness ─ like a smiley face or even an encouraging note next to their name on their cup ─ can fix their day.”



Partner since 2019

“Being a barista is so much more than making drinks or serving coffee. The most appealing part is being able to connect and make someone’s day.

One time a customer came in and got a call that her father had passed away. People might say that it was not my job to comfort her; however, as a barista who truly cares for our customers, I immediately began to console her. From then on, she visits my Starbucks store every single day to say hi.”



Partner since 2021

“Coffee is the catalyst that sparks the drive to accomplish anything and everything that the day throws our way.

I love interacting with people from all walks of life and being able to use my creativity to make new and exciting beverages for customers.

What motivates me most about the Championship is being able to visit another market and immerse myself in its culture and experience the different types of coffees.”



Partner since 2018

“I love sharing my passion for coffee with customers and other partners. My vocation is to make each moment special. I always try to make everyone smile and no matter how bored or tired the client or partner is when they arrive, I do my best to spread happiness not only through a friendly greeting, but also with a good cup of coffee. I look forward to meeting more partners with the same passion, to get to learn more about the world of coffee and to continue seeing new methods and systems with which to improve all skills.”



Partner since 2017

“What impresses me most about this profession is the fact that we can positively impact people and even improve their day, whether through genuine interactions, a beverage made with care, and even a piece of latte art.

The Championship is a huge opportunity to show the love we have for coffee and the connection with our customers. It is also an opportunity to see how far our effort can take us and how rewarding it can be. A lot of learning comes from the inspiration of showing other partners what you know as well as seeing their hard work.”

Cayman Islands


Partner since 2022

“For me, coffee represents unity and home. It acts as a bridge on which people are able to find common ground and share their love and experiences.

After I started working as a barista and learned the proper technique for coffee tasting, everything changed. I will always remember the feeling of joy and pride when I was first able to describe and explain the notes of coffee by myself and in turn confidently share my knowledge with customers and make recommendations.”



Partner since 2019

“Coffee brings back memories of my childhood and family gatherings, in particular of my grandfather who loved to have his coffee black.

As a barista, I love being able to deliver a personalized experience for every client, considering their tastes and inviting them to try something new. The Championship for me is a great opportunity to share with other partners. You get to know people from a variety of places, share experiences and learn from them.”



Partner since 2021

“I am surprised by how coffee helps us connect with people we don’t know. One day I had a coffee tasting for a tourist visiting our store. It was the first time they tried 100% Colombian coffee and they were delighted to learn of its origins and background. They even took some Colombian coffee to make at home! The Championship influences new partners to see coffee as a passion through which they can develop great skills. It motivates them to continue exploring their talent.”

Costa Rica


Partner since 2021

“I like being a barista because it’s a very dynamic craft. I love learning how delicious drinks are created, and how it helps us relate more to other people.

I’m excited to participate in the Championship as it encourages us to expand our skillset and meet partners who enjoy the same things. Also because of how much we can learn from the experience and each other.”



Partner since 2018

“As a barista I’ve learned more about the hard work behind coffee, which in turn has made me prouder of my craft.

I’ve learned so much from participating in the local Championship. From dominating my nerves and learning to speak in public, to creating new ways to connect with people. That’s actually what’s most appealing about being a barista: how relationships can blossom. For example, I connected with a customer on my first day at Starbucks, it was like we had known each other all our lives. As of today, five years later, I still make him his favorite beverage whenever we meet.”

Dominican Republic


Partner since 2020

“My favorite thing about being a barista is making someone smile by giving them a little time to themselves away from their busy days.

The Championship offers great opportunities. You get to meet other partners that share your passion, you can become an inspiration to your colleagues, and you learn many things that can help you grow as a barista. I’m very proud of representing my market and being able to share our rich coffee history.”

El Salvador


Partner since 2017

“This is my third time competing and I finally made it to the finals!

I’m so happy to challenge myself, learn new things from fellow baristas while also demonstrating what I’m capable of. I love how being a barista helps you connect with people every day. I remember one time a customer came in and asked for a slice of cake since it was his birthday. He was on his own. So, we decorated his cake and gave him a free drink. He was so moved by our gesture that he began visiting regularly, we became part of his daily routine.”


Juan Marco

Partner since 2021

“I am passionate about customer service. I always tell my colleagues to treat each customer order as if it was for themselves because through our work, we are capable of true human connection.

When I first started at Starbucks, I met a regular customer. I quickly learned what her favorite drink was: an iced coffee with skimmed milk and “a lot of whipped cream.” She always came in with her little chihuahua and her father. She treated him with so much respect and love. They were both very sweet and everyone at the store was very sad when he passed away. From this experience I learned about care and dedication for other people, and I will never forget her.”



Partner since 2018

“Coffee is about growth, maturing and developing wonderful flavors. Having meaningful relationships around coffee create memories and every time I think about coffee, it reminds me of my grandmother and her coffee trees on the hillsides in the countryside in Jamaica. The Championships makes us better baristas. It improves our coffee knowledge, makes us more competitive and helps us create bonds with other like-minded baristas. We’re also given the opportunity to try different blends and brewing methods which is always exciting and sharing it with customers and partners makes the experience even better.”


Miguel Ángel

Partner since 2018

“For me, coffee represents love and warmth since it has accompanied me in the great moments of my life. As a barista I really enjoy the craft and human connections that come from it. It is fantastic to be able to connect with my clients every day through drinks of the highest quality and artisanal standards. However, connecting with my Starbucks team is even better. We’ve really become a family. I had never experienced connections such as this one in any other jobs.”



Partner since 2018

“Coffee to me means history, adventure, travel, a beautiful process, and knowledge. This is what made me fall in love with coffee.

I’ve learned so much about coffee in the almost four years I’ve been a partner, and I’m eager to learn even more.

I’m so excited about having the opportunity to go to Hacienda Alsacia, meet new people and learn new things. Being a barista is so fun! And to think I didn’t even like coffee before…”



Partner since 2020

“Coffee was an escape from the pandemic. I was going through difficult times, like many Peruvians, however when customers shared their experiences, encouraged me, and left with some piece of advice it was all worth it.

I love being able to inspire others and convey feelings through my work.

One time, for example, one year after my father’s passing, I invited my family for a coffee tasting at my house. That day we all cried as we remembered my dad and the importance of being close to one another. It was the first time I shared my true feelings through of a cup of coffee.”

Puerto Rico


Partner since 2021

“I’ve always been interested in the world of coffee. I got to know Starbucks in Pennsylvania and fell in love with the company. Then, I went back to Puerto Rico and decided to keep learning more about Starbucks, coffee, and the connections it creates.

To me, coffee represents community, it is something that unites all kinds of people. I love it when people allow me to make recommendations and teach them about the different brewing methods.

The Championship is an opportunity to challenge myself and prove back home that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.”

Trinidad & Tobago


Partner since 2021

“The most appealing thing about being a barista is the opportunity you get to meet new customers daily.

I once shared a special connection with a customer that was having a difficult day, she opened up to me and shared what she was going through. It showed me the importance of smiling, offering a friendly greeting, learning how to prepare the drinks, assuming the best in others and saying thank you.   This is my first time participating in the Championship, and what I love about the experience so far is the connection I’ve been able to make with partners from other stores and countries.”



Partner since 2022

“To me coffee means passion. It is a world in which you never stop learning and growing.

What I enjoy most about being a barista is learning to make different beverages, of course, but also the interactions with customers. When I started working at Starbucks a customer asked me for a Flat White. I gave him his coffee with some latte art on top and he loved it! He asked me how I did it and about the techniques used. Finally, he told me he would come back from time to time to see how I had improved my skills. This was a very inspiring and motivating moment for me.”

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