Community Caravan

Written by Cafe Campesino on Oct 1, 2007 in Community Caravan, NEWSLETTER |
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West and Jesse enjoying CC at the Fair Trade and Our Faith program at St. Patrick's Cathedral

Tripp and his adventurer daughter Maria Sol had a truly extraordinary, life-affirming experience visiting our good friends at Centro de Mujeres de la Esperanza in El Paso, Texas during the weekend of September 8-11. Tripp and Sol arrived in El Paso on Saturday the 8th and without skipping a beat were whisked off for a whirlwind tour of El Paso as well as the border with Ciudad Juarez, (thank you Nikki and West)! On Sunday the 9th, Tripp was one of several speakers who addressed a crowd of about 50 fair traders at St Patrick’s Cathedral. The event, entitled Fair Trade and Our Faith, featured a moving presentation by Fr. Rick Matty, who shared his experiences with the coffee farmers in Chiapas, Mexico, as well as hard-core Fair Trade presentations by our dynamo hosts Nikki Hertel and Joe Michon along with our friends from St. Pius X. The event ended with West Cosgrove, who runs Casa Puente and leads border immersion trips, read the recently approved Declaration to make El Paso a Fair Trade Diocese. The event was sponsored by Centro de Mujeres de la Esperanza, the Peace and Justice Commission of St. Patrick Cathedral, JustFAITH of St. Pius X, the Sacred Earth Ministry of St. Pius X, the Diocesan Peace and Justice Ministry, and Café Campesino.

The wonderful women of Siglo 21, Nikki and Sol learn how to make pinatas.

On Monday, September 10th, Nikki led Tripp and Sol across the bridge into Ciudad Juarez for a visit with the wonderful women of Siglo 21 who are participating in El Centro de Mujeres “Women Learning to Earn Program”. Tripp and Sol were invited to a meeting held by the group which featured a class on how to make piñatas. Queremos agradecer a las mujeres de Siglo 21 por su valiosa hospitalidad.

That evening, Nikki led a meeting with local restaurateurs at El Centro de Mujeres de la Esperanza. Nikki, Tripp, and Rosa Saenz, owner of El Paso’s best and biggest Mexican restaurant Los Banditos de Carlos and Mikey’s (which also happen to serve Café Campesino’s CRS Fair Trade Program coffee —thank you Rosa!), introduced Fair Trade and Café Campesino coffee to this unique gathering of restaurant owners, all of whom seemed extremely interested in adding Fair Trade coffee to their menus!

Tripp, Sol and all of us here at café Campesino want to thank everyone at El Centro de Mujeres de la Esperanza, Joe and Linda Michon, Nikki Hertel, West Cosgrove, and Nikki’s most incredible friends who went out of their way to host Tripp and Sol.

The annual meeting of Cooperative Coffees was held from September 24th through September 30th in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, which provided a simply beautiful setting for this important annual get together! Maty spent the first part of the week meeting and working with fellow roasters and a good number of our producer partners, talking coffee and learning more about the art of cupping, organics and fair trade. Kudos to Dona Maty and Roastmaster Lee… our Sumatra and Peru Full City roasts were selected as tops at an informal cupping by our producer partners and fellow Coop Coffees members during the AGM. (Take advantage of our 10% off offer in this month’s newsletter special to find out for yourself how good these coffees are!) As Maty flew back on the 27th to resume her roasting duties, Tripp and Abby flew in for the Coop Coffees meetings, where the roasters and producers dug in to the business of Cooperative Coffees and the dynamic and evolving world of Fair Trade, which you can read about in Bill’s article The State of Fair Trade: Where We Stand in this issue of Fair Grounds.

Café Campesino would like to thank our friends Geoffrey and J, and all of our friends at BRAG for keeping the coffee flowing at this year’s Georgia Bikefest in Newnan, Georgia.

This past weekend, October 6th-7th, Geoffrey and a very small crew of great folks, served up about a thousand cups of Café Campesino from the Fair Trade Café at this year’s GreenFest in Washington, DC. We’re thrilled to have been part of this great annual “celebration of what’s working in our communities– for people, for businesses and for the environment.” GreenFest is a joint project of Co-op America (of which Café Campesino is a most enthusiastic member) and Global Exchange, that brings together local and national socially responsible businesses, and environmental, social justice and community organizations. Hundreds of thousands of concerned individuals over the years have attended these “parties with a purpose” aimed at forging a just, sustainable, inclusive economy — a green economy. For more information on GreenFest in Washington D.C. and other Green Fests around the country, visit their website.

On October 20th and 21st, Tripp and Geoffrey will be traveling to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to visit our friends Earl and Frances Self Drennen at Manna Grocery and Deli and partner with their crack team to serve up Café Campesino at this year’s Kentuck Festival. The Kentuck Festival, nationally recognized for its quality and diversity, celebrates a variety of artistic styles ranging from folk to contemporary arts as well as traditional crafts. Each of the 250+ artists participating in the Festival is either invited as a guest artist or is juried based on the quality and originality of their work. The guest artists are nationally recognized folk and visionary artists whose powerful visual images continue to capture national and international acclaim. Mose Tolliver, Annie Tolliver Turner, Lonnie Holley, Jimmy Lee Sudduth and Charlie Lucas are among the self-taught artists Kentuck has been honored to showcase.The Festival features educational craft demonstrations where masters of artistic tradition share their skills with Kentuck visitors at locations throughout the park. Some of the talents showcased at Kentuck are the work and practice of southern basketmakers, blacksmiths, furniture makers, quilters and traditional potters. Kentuck also specializes in pleasing the ear and palate. Two stages offer continuous performances of legendary blues, bluegrass, folk, country, gospel, classical and alternative rock, while food vendors serve a variety of delectable fare including ribs, gyros, Cajun and vegetarian. Find out more about the museum and the festival at Kentuck’s website.

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