On Friday, hundreds of people began marching from San Pedro Sula, Honduras toward Mexico and the United States in the hope of escaping violence, corruption, and extreme poverty. By Monday, the number of marchers grew somewhere close to two thousand - two thousand people searching desperately for a better way to support their families. Most of the people marching are families and many of them have nothing more than the clothes on their back and a small backpack. The Sydney Morning Herald interviewed Carlos Cortez, a farmer marching with his seven-year-old son. “Every day I earn about $5…That isn’t enough to feed my family.”
What does this have to do with coffee, you ask? Whatever your political beliefs may may be, the cold reality is that many of these people are coffee farmers, pickers and their families.
There are many reasons why coffee farmers are beginning to walk away in search of a better life for their families. At a current price of around $1 per pound, most coffee farmers are giving up on their harvest this year because there is simply no way to survive. Would you spend time harvesting a crop that would yield little to nothing for you and your family to live on?
Additionally, many coffee-producing countries suffer from extreme corruption and poverty. Social programs, public safety, and basic human needs are often neglected or unattainable. Simeon addressed these issues when he spoke with Bobby a few months ago. In one part of his interview he mentioned that his wife, Antonia, would have to travel over two hours to the hospital to deliver the baby they were expecting. This is very common in many Central American countries.
All of this may seem overwhelming, but it is important to share with you, our consumers, so you have a better idea of where our partner-farmers are coming from and why so many people choose to leave countries like Honduras every day. Farmers First is committed to telling the stories of these resilient coffee farmers and their families and will continue to do so with honesty and transparency. We hope you’ll grab a cup of coffee and stick around to chat.