My experience in Pluma Hidalgo

Hi everyone! This is Umi here.

I am writing this from Pluma Hidalgo – where we have our project! I have been here for the last 11 days. My purpose of the stay here was very simple. I just wanted to see the place and meet people. I was lucky enough to join The Lucy Foundation team last April as an intern. Ever since, I really wanted to see the real Pluma Hidalgo.

 

A bit about me

I am born with a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta which makes my bones fragile. I have had fractures 15 times, but it has not stopped me from travelling. When I travel, I take my manual wheelchair, which means that I need support from other people to go places. But because of that I get to spend more time with people. My time here in Pluma has been absolutely amazing.

 

The people of Pluma Hidalgo

As I heard it from Robbie, people here are little more reserved than people from other countries such as Colombia (which I visited prior to coming here). However, once you get to know them, the warmth you feel from people is beautiful. When we walk down the street to the centre of the village, everyone greets each other. Some people I met said it was the first time for them to meet a Japanese person (I am originally from Japan). Especially a Japanese person in a wheelchair I bet! It has been an honour to be able to show that it is possible to travel in a wheelchair.

It is usually a quiet and peaceful village, yet since it is closer to Christmas we have been having a lot of fiestas, which start at 10pm and continue until midnight! There are lots of music, dancing and delicious food. Even children stay up until midnight to enjoy with everyone.

I was always very curious about situations for people with disabilities in other countries, especially in remote areas. In this village it seems like even though they are not given as many opportunities, their dignity and freedom is respected to a certain degree.

 

Working together as a team

I absolutely love that people with disabilities in this community have became part of our program because they want to work on the coffee project. Juan who is deaf and mute, is now learning how to sign a little more so he can communicate with us more. I went with the guys involved in our project and Ryan, who is the field director, to one of the houses in the village to fix their door. Ryan taught the guys how to fix parts of the door.. It was very simple things, but being able to do things by ourselves was wonderful.

I know that because I have had to spend a lot of time not being able to get up from my bed. Things are moving maybe slow and steady with the project, but the trust we are building in the community is very firm. And I like that a lot.

I also learned what hard work it is to grow coffee. Despite being an intern in The Lucy Foundation, I did not drink too much coffee. However, seeing how coffee trees grow in beautiful forests and how touching it can be to harvest them deepens my love for coffee. Also, a surprise for me was that coffee is a very sweet and yummy fruit by itself!  

The people who lived in this area have lived here for the last 10,000 years, which is a time frame I cannot even imagine. I am very lucky to be here and absorb the energy and wisdom of people here directly.

Social Feed


1 month ago

The Lucy Foundation

Buy good, do good! Calling all orders for the next roast of Pluma coffee. When you purchase these tasty Pluma coffee beans, lovingly roasted by Able Coffee Collaborative, you are supporting the empowerment of people with disabilities. It's a win win!

ablecoffee.co.nz/collections/coffee/products/mexicoHey Team, we have a few orders up for this amazing coffee. But we need a couple more to make up the numbers for a batch. Jump online and order today!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

It is past 11pm in Mexico... ever wondered what late night shinanigans our Field Directors Jessica Pantoja-Sanders and Ryan get up to at this time of night? Coffee stuff, that's what! They have an event down on the coast this weekend, so they're sorting good beans, bad beans, moisture testing and roasting!

#commitment #PlumaCoffeeProject #plumahidalgo #inclusion #disability

[Image description: A grid of 4 photos. Top left shows a grain moisture meter device, top right shows a close up of good 'green' coffee beans. The lower left photo shows bad 'green' coffee beans that are chipped and with holes from burrowing Broca bugs. The lower right photo is a birds eye view photo of hands sorting green coffee beans on a wooden table in Jess and Ryan's house]
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

2 months ago

The Lucy Foundation

Colectivo SicarĂº is a new initiative set up by TLF and a handful of other incredible women, for the women of Pluma Hidalgo. Our first meeting was a low key event, getting to know each other. We are looking forward to future events, workshops focused around creative arts, various forms of education and sustainability. #allwomenwelcome #thelucyfoundation #inclusiveness #educationandopportunity ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

2 months ago

The Lucy Foundation

A couple of weeks ago we had the absolute pleasure of hosting a LUSH New Zealand media event in collaboration with Coffee Educators Ltd. Social media influencers Kate Manihera and Annalee Muggeridge joined us for a night of fab food, fab coffee, and yarns about how to create impact through business and social media.

On that note... there are more Pluma coffee beans available for purchase! For your Pluma coffee fix, head on over to:

ablecoffee.co.nz/collections/coffee/products/mexico
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

2 months ago

The Lucy Foundation

"With a little break in the rain, we were able to get out and help one of the TLF families collect coffee seedlings. Here Don Epifanio, Fidel, Ryan, Lorenzo and Ebony load the TLF truck to take the seedlings to Don Epifanio's ranchito (farm)." - Jessica Pantoja-Sanders

#plumaseedlings #plumacoffee #everyoneisincluded #thelucyfoundation
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook
© 2018 The Lucy Foundation.