There are two things that I believe are at the core of an artist: Passion and Pain. Passion being a burning, almost unstoppable, driving emotion that, in the case of the artist, manifests in the form of creating. Pain being a feeling or emotion of discomfort which causes us to appease, to quench, that pain—a pain brought about by injustice or a vision to create something of worth and beauty, or a combination of both with the pressure to aptly express the ache of the inner person and their passion. Both, when put together, bring forth an artist.
A coffee farmer is an artist. Really, any farmer that works and perseveres with a burning desire is. This, blended with an ache at the thought of ever losing that which has been part of their culture, history, and life, makes the farmer an artist.
My grandfather and my great grandfather were artists. There are others who share a similar (if not the same) story, but our team is fortunate enough to start by telling my family’s story through our coffee and one farm “El Carmen.”
The farm, cradled between Oaxaca’s lush mountains, has been my great grandfather’s, and now my grandfather’s, canvas. It’s been one of their greatest treasures and masterpieces, but it needs restoration.
We have the opportunity to be artist’s ourselves and assistants to these masters of agriculture. Our first sponsored farm has become our own blank canvas in our effort to go back to the root of coffee: the farmer. El Carmen is a canvas of hope which we know can be transformed into a true work of art—a place where people can learn and grow, earn fair wages, and build their future.
Now imagine if were able to extend this vision to other farms in neighboring communities or countries. It may begin at this one family farm, it’s not an isolated event. The same passion to grow coffee is found in other countries like Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, and Ethiopia, just to name a few. There are others farmers, farms, and families that have a passion and a need to maintain their craft and livelihoods through farming.
With our passion to see lives flourish and our own pain in knowing that there are those that lack access to that possibility to flourish, we continue to push forth in our efforts to rebuild one coffee farm at a time.
There is still much work to be done. We will remain hustling, roasting, and helping to rebuild farms and lives with our resources, with our sweat, with our community, and with the fuel of other passionate and aching people.
Founder/Captain of Caffeinated Chaos
Photos taken May 2016:
Overhead view of El Carmen, coffee de-pulping machine and fermentation tank, coffee nursery, coffee shrubs in coffee nursery