Marcia expressed this statement as she picked handfuls of the red coffee “cherries” from the branches on that misty January day as we stood on top of a cloud enveloped mountain in Honduras. Fifteen of us had ridden up the winding dirt road in the double cab and bed of a 4×4 pickup truck to meet Juan and his family.
They led us up the mountain path lined with coffee and banana trees and pointed to a narrow path leading up to the top of the mountain where the coffee needed to be picked that day. We tried our best to wedge our shoes into the steep muddy path and find enough leverage to climb up the pathway without damaging any of the rows of coffee plants that lined the mountainside. As we emerged at the top of the mountain, a foggy outline of a few eucalyptus trees were visible as they towered above the man-sized coffee trees.
After about an hour of picking coffee, we slid our way down the slippery mountain path to compare our harvest with Juan’s family’s expertise. Needless to say, we would need years of practice to be able to pick enough coffee to survive. As we waited for the coffee truck to arrive to record their daily harvest and take it the processing station, Juan shared the following testimony:
I want to thank all of the people in the US who are purchasing the coffee I harvest. It is an honor to tell you that because of you, I have been blessed through this ministry. Our local Co-op has made it it possible for you to relish the aroma and flavor of the coffee I produce and I can’t thank you enough. – Juan