Madame Isabelle Sinamenye, President of Burundi IWCA Chapter inspiring women in the world of coffee
When I started working in the Burundi coffee sector - precisely at Intercafe - Burundi in October 2010 - I met my former teacher: Madame Isabelle Sinamenye, President of Burundi IWCA Chapter and who is now working in the coffee sector as the chief of its laboratory. Madame Sinamenye told me how the involvement of women in certain unit operations, such as the coffee value chain, is known to be large.
Paromita (left) honing the skills of baristas from Kolkata - the heart of the Tea Capital of India.
The city of Kolkata, in the Eastern part of India, is often called the City of Joy. It is also the Tea Capital of India, and all the tea trading for its 1.5 billion tea-drinking population happens out of this city. So it is rare for a coffee story to come out of the heart of the Tea Capital of India.
If you haven't any generosity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble - by Rebeca Valle Anfossi
I arrived just in time…the bus was about to leave. My friend, barista and maestro Tito was waiting for me and we planned to leave towards Jaén, a province of Cajamarca in northern Peru. Our goal? To find coffee that would represent us in the national barista championship.
The scenery was beautiful; green cliffs, wild nature and wonderful, very hospitable people.
We waited for the representatives of the cooperative CENFROCAFE, which had been contacted by our boss David Torres. They led us to the farm of Mr. Amaru, who would guide us while looking for the "ideal” coffee for our competition. During the days of our stay, Mr. Amaru and his family welcomed us like royalty; they shared everything they could give us. There was no malice in their minds and hearts, only good spirits to help strangers in the search for their goal. We shared lunch with delicious vegetables from their farm, chicken for soup and fresh eggs. They made room for us to spend the night. Mr. Amaru and his family showed us how the coffee harvesting and processing was done, without losing their patience with us.
We followed the recommendation of Mr. Amaru: go to the area known as “El Corazón” where some producers had already begun to harvest. It was an emotional farewell: Mr. Amaru’s family had welcomed us so generously - as if we were members of his own family.
I was sitting in an almost empty room, which had chairs that would soon be occupied by members and producers of the area of “El Corazón”. I must confess, I was a bit scared and I do not know why. Suddenly, the distance from home, seeing so many strangers around me, the lack of technology…it all was a bit too much. There we discussed about our need to find some good beans, which we would use to participate in the barista competition. I noticed that they were a bit suspicious, but one of the producers prevailed and ran to his house to bring us some of their harvested beans. He offered to take us to his farm to show us his harvest.
Don Luis Chingel arrived with transportation. We immediately boarded the truck and we headed towards the farm. The terrain was rugged and the "road" was very steep. At one point we had to get out of our truck and walk. I felt my heart leap from my mouth many a time. After knowing the area, which was beautiful, and talking with Don Luis, we returned to the square of” El Corazón" where Luis Chingel gave us some kilos of his green coffee beans for us to test. Now, we were ready to return to the capital.
Returning to Lima, I remembered all the generous people who had helped us along our journey: Mr. Amaru and his family, Don Luis Chingel, the people of "El Corazón". They all acted in an unselfish manner, so detached, it made me reflect upon how we act with our neighbors. We should learn from these beautiful people and take example of their effortless generosity ... being generous, after all, is an act of love.
You CAN make a difference in this world: don’t listen to those people who are scared to try and especially not to those who are scared you will succeed - by Raquel Santos Soares Menezes
When Marisa Contreras says that coffee is the best business in the world, she just not truly believes this, but persuades all who are listening that she is indeed speaking the truth!
Kattia patiently doing what she loves.
Personally, it has been very hard to be patient. I have learned and understood that only through hardship, spiritual growth, and patience can obstacles and difficulties be overcome. Without patience it is easy to fall into the abyss of anxiety, which generates more worries, stress, a chain of illnesses, and - in many cases - even accelerated death.
Waking up each day to work in the coffee industry is turning out to be the greatest experience in my life. Ever since I joined Dedan Kimathi University of Technology to study coffee, I have experienced vigorous growth and satisfaction. All motivated by the issues revolving around coffee. It is through coffee that I am capable of earning a living. This is similar to several other women who earn their living through this valuable commodity along the value and quality chain.
In Burundi, coffee is the basis of the country’s economy and the main exporting crop, accounting for around 80% of export revenues. Roughly 600,000 householders are coffee farmers which means that 95% of the active populations - among them 60% are women -depend directly on coffee farming for the main source of cash income.
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude - by Urvashi Malhotra
Roopa, with grace and gratitude
She enjoyed a life of luxury and comfort, living in the big city of Bangalore, a fashionable home-maker, free to pursue her interest in art and creativity. Roopa’s husband was an engineer; though his family owned a 100-acre coffee plantation, he chose a city career and life. But 15 years ago, on an entreaty by her father-in-law, Roopa gave up all the glitter and glamour. In its place, she adopted the hard life of a coffee farmer. Her father-in-law felt she had it in her, and Roopa, encouraged by him, went on to live in Hebbasale in Sakleshpur district, shedding her life of comfort forever.