Blog

09 Oct 2014

Last winter I was fortunate to spend time in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. I paid my ticket and was off on an adventure with Joey Pittoello, the director of coffee for Just Us! Coffee. The purpose of the journey was to connect with producers from the ASOBAGRI co-op, which I learned is a relationship that Just Us! has had for over 14 years. I have wanted to do a trip like this for many years due to my connection with "Breaking the Silence". I had heard many stories about Guatemala from their interns at the Tatamagouche Centre and their work with the CCDA cooperative.  However, nothing that I had learned or heard could have prepare me for the varied emotions I had for the land and the people—especially the women that I got to meet along the way. It also made me think deeply about the trip that Just Us! co-founder, Jeff Moore, made so many years ago when he travelled on a bus through the Chiapas region of Mexico without any connections and a language...

23 Mar 2012
    After my tour through Guatemala, I took a short flight to meet with producers in Costa Rica. The contrast between the two countries is noticeable immediately. CR is one of the most economically developed nations in Latin America, fuelled largely by tourism and IT industries. Coffee...
12 Mar 2012
My version of the trip began at 5:20 am with a pickup from Don, followed by a visit to café SuPa (Sue & Pascal), where Sue had prepared drinks of our choosing to start our long travel day right. It was fun meeting up with everyone at the airport and sitting down to breakfast together,...
12 Mar 2012
Day 1 - Wednesday Operation drive, park and fly is complete! We are safely on our way to Chicago and I can feel the temperature rising already.  We all arrived safely at the airport with plenty of time to have breakfast together, since we did leave at six am!  The flight is due to take...
02 Mar 2012
My second stop in Guatemala was at the ASOBAGRI co-op in the Huehuetenango region after a very bumpy 12-hour drive through winding mountain roads with beautiful vistas. I enjoyed the glimpses of people going about their lives in small communities along the highland road, herding sheep, washing...
27 Feb 2012
During a green bean buying trip to Guatemala and Costa Rica last week, I visited several of our suppliers and saw some very different examples of community development through the currency of coffee. My first stop was in Lake Atitlan to visit the CCDA (Comité Campesino del Altiplano). The roots of...