In September 2011 I was given the opportunity to travel to San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico, to meet with the coffee cooperative Maya Vinic and give advice and guidance in the opening of their cafe. This was my first visit to Mexico, and San Cristobal is a wonderful town, full of culture and beauty.
Most of the time was spent in the offices of Maya Vinic, working with the coop on the opening of their cafe. We took a day trip to their production facility, as well as Acteal. In Acteal, we not only got to see a clean water project being worked on, but got to see the vivid details of the Acteal Massacre.
I picked up a copy of Javatrekker after being asked to represent Heine Brothers’ Coffee in the Just Creations International Book Club. Author Dean Cycon is the owner of Dean’s Beans, another founding member (including HBC) of Cooperative Coffees. Things didn’t work out with the book club, but since I am interested in travel, the lives of coffee farmers, and fair-trade, I sent ahead and read the book.
Dean Cycon has traveled the world, visiting coffee farmers, and has a great story to tell. He is also a great story-teller, and does an excellent job keeping the reader entertained in the various antics that go on during his travels, but also reminds the readers that coffee farmers are some of the poorest people in the world, and deserve a lot more for the coffee the produce for their customers.
Africa, the Americas, Asia – he has been to them all, and has adventures that really make me want to hop on a plane and visit some of these farmers. Fair-trade coffee is a great step in helping these farmers – if you are looking for a local fair-trade roaster, check out Cooperative Coffees member list.