Thursday, November 29, 2007

More guatemalan coffee

A couple of weeks ago, while visiting Cornell University at the beautiful town of Ithaca NY, I came across one of many places heavily frequented by students. It was Collegetown Bagels. I was surprised that the usual punch-card of "buy N and get 1 free" that I got when I purchased a cup of coffee had images resembling Mayan hieroglyphics. After closer examination once I was at a table, I realized that they were indeed Mayan hieroglyphics! (I wish I knew their meaning)

Digging a bit the mystery, I found out that the owner of the place actually buys coffee from Guatemala. He gives an account of his trip to a place in the vicinity of Volcán Tajumulco! His depiction of the poor people working in the fields is very accurate. I've seen it myself.

It's commonly known that the people that work in the coffee plantations get a small fraction of the profits in the worldwide coffee market. However it seems that these guys are buying coffee beans at a much higher price, it's what they call 100% fair trade. It's the first time I hear something like this. I am no expert in the topic nor I know any details, yet I really hope this kind of things become an improvement in the quality of life for the people of the mountains living in Guatemala.
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