I have been so blessed to be able to visit coffee farmers, processors, and roasters in Honduras and I found the entire experience very eye opening. I would like today to share with you 3 realizations I had during my trip that have greatly affected my passion to help support families in the coffee industry.
1. Skilled coffee workers are leaving their trade because they are unable to support their families and provide basic needs.
From the very first farmer I visited, I immediately realized that coffee farming is a family business. As soon as I entered into his home I was introduced to his entire family history. Stories were told about how the farm was started and how each generation has grown and improved the farm along the way. The coffee farm is a part of his families identity, and it is his area of expertise. My friend has been working with coffee for his entire life.
The next day I met a 12 year old boy who said he has been working for 5 years on the coffee farm. He knew where every plant was and how to care for them. His mother is the manager of the farm and coffee is a massive part of his families lifestyle. I later met his sister and mom headed off to take care of plants. It is this boy and his family who need your help as coffee drinkers. As he continues to grow up he will become an incredible asset due to his experience and love for coffee. If you value the quality of the coffee you drink, you need to be investing in the quality of the people who grow that coffee.
Dwellings Coffee Homes just built a home for this boy and his family, but there are many more families like his who are slowly leaving their lives in the coffee industry.
2. Giving a home to family lets them know that they are valued.
As I arrived at the home we have been helping build for Ramon and his family in San Andres, I was overjoyed to see the progress and quality of the home. I received so much fulfillment just from knowing that I had played a part in giving this amazing gift. As the day went on I was able to see the impact this house was having on the family. I sat and watched as little Sophia dreamed of painting the house "all the colors"! It was amazing to see and imagine how different this family must be feeling as their future home is appearing before their eyes.
Giving a family a home and investing in their life enables them to work harder and with a significantly different attitude. Families transition from feeling inferior because of their living conditions to feelings loved and valued because of the gift they have been given. Truly caring for the coffee community goes beyond merely investing in the work life of coffee families. You also need to invest in the physical and emotional needs of those families.
If a coffee family feels unvalued and uncared for, that will affect their work ethic as well as their desire to stay in the coffee industry. Dwellings Coffee Homes provides families with quality homes, boosting the families moral and reminding them that they valued and loved by people and God.
3. The loss of skilled workers leads to the loss of quality.
There are so many stages within the coffee industry, but it is the individual farmers and their employees who have the most control over the quality of the final product.
If you love great coffee, then you want the people who grow, pick, and process your coffee to be capable and skilled in their trade. There is no question that mechanized coffee farms experience a major in quality. I was to watch one of the farmers walking around her farm and I was amazed at her knowledge of coffee plants and her ability to care for and cultivate them. There is no question that the quality of her coffee is directly related to her and her employees experience.
I realize not everyone will care or notice the difference in their daily cup of coffee, but that is only another reason to support coffee workers who are doing it right! It can be hard as coffee drinkers to really understand the amount of expertise it takes to be a coffee farmer. Not to mention the long days of hard labor. It is important that we do not take our everyday cup of coffee for granted.
One last thing you need to read.
Coffee farmers, processors, roasters, and baristas all work together toward ONE GOAL. And that goal is the cup of coffee you are drinking. Every sip you take is the result and goal of an entire industry. Farmers farm with consumers in mind, but consumers often have only themselves in mind.
Investing in coffee families connects you to a group of people who work incredibly hard to give you something you love. So next time you drink a cup of coffee, think about the people who made that possible.
You can help support our project and more by visiting www.dwellingsnow.com/coffee
God bless you all!
To help support and finish this project, visit www.dwellingsnow.com/ramon.