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Just Coffee's 2005-2006 Delegation to Chiapas, MexicoPosted by colleen at about 1pm on Wednesday February 21, 2007
December 29, 2005 - January 5, 2006
-Meeting with SIPAZ, International Service for Peace which acts as a deterrent in the areas of greatest tension and thus assists in conflict prevention by maintaining an important presence in indigenous communities of Chiapas, communicating with the many different political actors in an effort to promote dialogue and reduce tension and violence.
-Visit to Cafe Museu, a museum that explores the history of coffee.
-Meeting with Café Conciencia, an international non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life of poor coffee farmers and their families in Guatemala.
-Travel to Oventic Caracol, a Zapatista government center where we had opportunities to see Zapatista schools, women artisan’s cooperatives, a boot factory, and more.
-Celebrated the New Year and the anniversary of the Zapatista's rebellion in Oventic.
-Witnessed the kick-off march and rally of the Zapatista's 'Other Campaign' in San Cristobal de Las Casas. -
Meeting with Miguel Pickard of CIEPAC, the Center for the Economic and Political Investigation for Community Action.
-Visited the Maya Medicine Museum which consists of several museographic environments depicting the traditional Mayan practices and therapeutic resources of the indigenous physicians of Chiapas and also possesses six exhibit spaces and a demonstrative garden containing many important medicinal plants.
-Toured Taller Lenateros, a Mayan-language publishing collective.
-Meeting with coffee growing cooperative, Yachil.
-Went to Zapatista community, Tenejapa, where we met with representatives of the community, toured coffee fields, had an opportunity to harvest coffee berries, shared a meal, and played with the children.
-Salsa dancing at a local festival in San Cristobal de las Casas.
COMMENTS FROM DELEGATES:
"To Just Coffee and especially Colleen, Thank you for your vision and your abilities without which this delegation would have been impossible. Many thanks." "I wanted to thank you yet again. You pour all of yourself into your projects and your passion shines. I will remember with great fondness my experiences from the time that I spent in Chiapas and will carry them in special place in my heart. Writer Paul Tillich once said 'The first duty of love is to listen.' Thank you for opening my ears and my heart to these people; our people." -John from Cayuga, Ontario, Canada
"I've been away from y'alls for nary a day and I am pining already. Thank you so much for organizing such a powerful, incredible trip. You are incredible. I am trying to fend off the on setting depression by planning a community forum at C-U when I return. Thank you." -Molly from Madison, Wisconsin, USA
"It was wonderful to meet you all and share the second most amazing week of my life (after my wedding). Please keep in touch." -Stacy from Chicago, Illinois, USA
"I really enjoyed the Chiapas experience and I appreciate you putting up with me. I had such a fantastic time! It meant so much to me to get away and explore the world with you! I hope we can do it again sometime in the near future!" -Alys from Oswego, Illinois, USA
"You are a kindred spirit and I appreciate all you've done for me on the trip to Chiapas. I want to give you a grand thank-you. I need to grow as a person in order to keep my sanity! These excursions allow me to do just that!" -Kathryn from Madison, Wisconsin, USA
"The people were great and I loved the contribution of some who initiated interesting conversation. Being a part of a group of people was ideal for me and my son, especially as a single mother. I had adults to speak with and he had children to play with. I especially liked the march with the Zapatistas and the talk at CIEPAC. All-in-all, I consider it a learning experience. I would definitely consider attending another trip." -Amanda from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
"Thanx Colleen. We had a great experience in Chiapas. Thank you for your hard work. It's tough to organize that many people, but you managed to do it with ease." -Reza from Dunnville, Ontario, Canada
For more information or to sign-up for a delegation, please contact Just Coffee's Delegation Coordinator Colleen Coy at: colleen (at) justcoffee (dot) coop. Thank you for your continued interest and support!