Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Aug 29th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Coffee Connections

blog_slugCommunity Agroecology Network (CAN)’s week of events features Darling Betsabe Campos Rayo of Nicaragua

If you’re part of the 54 percent of the American population that drinks coffee, it’s likely you had a cup this morning. But how likely is it that you also pondered about the hands that produced your cup of coffee, and questioned how it came to end up in your hands?

Community Agroecology Network (CAN) is a Santa Cruz-based organization that encourages consumers not only to ask these questions, but also to answer them. They collaborate with small coffee farmers in Central American communities to research methods to grow sustainable coffee and create an alternative and more direct market in which producers receive a fairer share of the profits. To help jumpstart the dialogue between coffee consumers and coffee producers, CAN will be hosting a series of events this week, May 10 through 14, featuring Darling Betsabe Campos Rayo from their partner community in Matagalpa Nicaragua.

Rayo grew up in the advent of the 1985 Nicaraguan agrarian reform, in which land was redistributed to the landless to form cooperatives. The reform held people together in a time of political instability, national violence, and mass poverty. Rayo’s mother, an organic coffee producer and a member of a coffee cooperative, single-handedly raised Rayo and her seven brothers and sisters after their father died in war when Rayo was eight.


Then, in the late ’90s, the coffee crisis struck. The price of coffee dropped so unprecedentedly low that small coffee farmers throughout Central America, who had traditionally been able to support their families, were forced to abandon their farms and migrate. Rayo realized then that the system had to be changed. In Nicaragua, she says, many people believe that “los sindicatos hacen fuerza.” Unions make force.


Now 21 years old, Rayo is a leader of one of the 21 unions of coffee cooperatives of UCA San Ramon, to which 1,080 members belong. With the money and benefits they receive from selling their coffee to CAN, UCA San Ramon is able to create various programs that benefit the community.


To further discuss UCA San Ramon, their work and their partnership with CAN, Rayo will be at the Fair Trade Market Place Monday, May 10 in the Bay Tree Quarry from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Afterwards, there will be the Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP) Food Systems Night at 7 p.m. in Classroom Unit Two. On Tuesday, May 11, Rayo will be available for a one-on-one talk from noon. to 3 p.m. in building A2 of The Lower Quarry. Later that night, she will also be attending the FoCAN student meeting, which meets every Tuesday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in building A3 of the Sustainable Living Center in the Lower Quarry. And on Wednesday, May 12, Rayo will be appearing at the Downtown Farmers’ Market from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


CAN Program Director Katie Boone says that while many Santa Cruz residents understand the injustices of the world in abstract terms of data, statistics, and charts, that isn’t enough. “In a time when walls are being built to keep other people out, having a network that builds bridges with communities in different countries is so important and enriches our lives here in Santa Cruz,” she says. CAN hopes the community will participate in the week’s events, all aimed at bridging this gap.


For more details of the events, visit canunite.org/en/encuentro_10 or contact Karie Boone at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual