The Adventures of Lucy(ita) Part 12

Another week, another installment of the Adventures of Lucita! For those who may be just joining me, Lucy is a Bamboletta ambassador joining Heather and Greg from Project Somos –  A project that is creating an eco village in Guatemala for abandoned and orphaned children. For more information, please visit the Project Somos website.

It’s late Sunday night and we’re just back from spending time in the Guatemalan Highlands. On Wednesday Greg, Lucita and I borrowed a friend’s car and drove six hours to the western edge of Guatemala right near the Mexican border. We were there to visit and spend time at Dr. Ellen Coburn’s project in a small mountain town called Huixoc. Ellen is a friend of ours and began The Mayan Health and Education Project in 2001. It provides schooling for indigenous children in their local Mayan Dialect. This is a rare opportunity for indigenous children of Guatemala. Because the public schools do not offer Spanish as a second language to children who are not native Spanish speakers, grade one has the highest drop out rate! This project is a lovely example of what can be when people and their language and customs are respected and honoured!


The town of Huixoc teeters on the edge of a steep mountainside and the road leading up there is a twisty dusty dirt road which passes many coffee “fincas” on the way. Right now it is coffee picking season and we saw truckload after truckload of coffee sacks being hauled along the highway. We were told that the coffee pickers in this area make about 35 Quetzales per day. That’s about $5.50 CDN for 10-12 hours of work!! It isn’t even minimum wage here. I can’t help but think about trips to coffee shops in Vancouver where two of us can easily  spend that amount. We saw the “housing” that is provided to the migrant workers and their families and it is absolutely horrendous. The workers arrive in droves and always seem to come in family units, babies on backs and little ones in tow, working just as long and hard as the adults. All for us to have our special cup of no-fat, no foam, double, whatever?  Here’s my plug-PLEASE think twice before buying coffee that isn’t fair trade, people. I know after what I saw this week, I’ll be reflecting deeper when I sip my lattes. And make that organic too, okay? If not, all of those workers and their children are being exposed to those chemicals and sprays. I believe it is a really important thing that we know and understand where our “stuff” comes from and to know how it affects the environment and the people along the way. That’s it. No more preaching.


I hope you enjoy the photos. Lucita is pictured at the school in Huixoc with one of the students. Her name is Astrid. Lucita is enjoying the distinct aroma of the freshly dried coffee and these are just a few of the stacks of coffee sacks we saw!

-Heather and Lucita xoxox






3 responses to “The Adventures of Lucy(ita) Part 12”

  1. Amber Avatar

    Thanks for opening our eyes to a very real problem with coffee.

    I’m so glad to hear about Dr. Ellen Coburn’s project. 🙂

  2. Nicole Avatar

    Thank you for telling an important message that you have seen first hand!

  3. cheryl Avatar

    It makes me really happy for the first time that I don’t drink coffee.

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