FRIENDS AND FAMILY,
I am sure many do as I do, when you wake in the morning. Quickly I go to the kitchen to brew my morning coffee. It seems I cannot start the day without it. Here in Guatemala, if you rise at dawn, you can witness the field workers, women and men, with their children, packing into the backs of pickup trucks, to go to fields to pick coffee. Especially in these times, when unemployment is reality for most, the poor take the opportunity to earn a little cash. Children from seven years and up are brought along to help fill the boxes and gunny sacks with the red bean; babies are carried along on the backs of moms. The land owners take advantage of this necessity. Salary for eight hours in the field, under the beating sun, can be thirty dollars to a family, if they can pick 100 pound of the wet red coffee bean. This is once a year opportunity so many poor take to the fields.
Today with visitors, I went to the coffee cooperative, that was started by the first priest of our mission, Jim Tackes, more than forty years ago. This truly is one of our greatest gifts to the Mayan population in the small community of PASAC. The coffee harvest is in progress. The cooperative of NAHUALA has 164 members. This year, they will export 1500 one hundred pound bags of the golden coffee bean. They pay a more just price to pickers and the actual members make good profit on their harvest. With financial support from international organizations, this cooperative now has a huge dryer for the coffee. The women of the cooperative have their own project and small process machinery; they shell and toast the dried coffee bean, grind and bag it and fill gold cellophane bags. Their coffee is named, Coffee FEMININA, or of the WOMEN, of the cooperative. Their coffee is completely organic and sold in the cooperative for five dollars a pound. The red shell that comes off the coffee bean, after being thoroughly washed, is preserved and transported to the project of worms, in the same community, and used in production of organic fertilizer. This fertilizer is provided to members for their coffee plants and other herbs for the next harvest.
PLEASE DRINK ORGANIC COFFEE OF FAIR TRADE ORGANIZATIONS!! START YOUR MORNING OFF RIGHT!!
ENCLOSED A PICTURE OF JUAN, PRESIDENT OF THE COOPERATIVE OF PASAC, NAHUALA, STANDING NEXT TO ORGANIC COFFE BEANS , DRYING IN THE SUN BEFORE BEING PLACED IN THE DRYER. ALSO PICTURES OF ALBERTA, WITH THE COFFEE BEAN BEFORE TOASTING, AND VISITORS PURCHASING CAFE FEMININA OF THIS COOPERATIVE.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
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