May 14, 2016
Each year thousands migrate north from Mexico in search of greater opportunity. More often than not, these migrants encounter many dangers on their journey to El Norte. Among the dangers migrants face are violence from bandits and smugglers, exposure to extreme weather and the constant threat of being detained by la migra (immigration enforcement). In addition to these risks, many families become separated as one member of the family leaves to look for work while the rest of the family stays at home.
Café Justo, a fair trade coffee cooperative, offers many families in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, an alternative. Café Justo was started in partnership with Frontera de Cristo to provide a network that enables farmers to receive a fair price for their coffee. The Café Justo co-op has over 40 member families in the village of Salvador Urbina, Chiapas. Many of the families have reunited as mothers and fathers return home from the United States to work the fields and harvest coffee at a sustainable wage.
In connection with Frontera de Cristo, Café Justo coffee is primarily sold through a network of churches in the United States. First Presbyterian Church in Greer, South Carolina, has formed a deep relationship with Café Justo. We serve Café Justo coffee on Sunday mornings and at church functions. We sell hundreds of bags of coffee each month to church members and the community. Also, members of the staff and congregation have visited the farmers in Salvador Urbina. We truly feel that these are our farmers and our friends. Coffee can be grown only near the equator, so we like to think of our amigos in Salvador Urbina as our “local” coffee farm.
Being able to directly support a fair trade organization has had a great impact on our congregation. There is great pride in knowing that our choice to support fair trade is bringing families back together and providing opportunities for meaningful work in Salvador Urbina. Each time we drink Café Justo coffee, we are giving life and hope to the families of that community.
Bob Greene, First Presbyterian Church, Greer, South Carolina
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Dear Lord, we pray for those who must make difficult choices and journeys in search of a better future. We ask that you bless those in search of opportunity and meaningful work in their home communities. Please give strength and healing to families that have been separated. We ask that you provide them hope for reunion. Amen.