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


4 hours ago

The Lucy Foundation

ANNOUNCEMENT: Print 3 of 4! Did we mention that Anna Coleman (designer) and Department of Brewology have agreed to donate all proceeds from these incredible prints to The Lucy Foundation? You can pre-order the full set of 4 for $30 from our website now!

#thebestcoffeeofalliscoffeeforall #value #ableismistrash #thingsdisabledpeopleknow #plumacoffeeproject #socialenterprise #buygooddogood #nzinmexico

— Products shown: Full Set of Prints.
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5 days ago

The Lucy Foundation

Throw back Thursday: The pictures we posted earlier remind us of the video Coffee Educators Ltd baristas made when they visited our crew in Mexico! They came to learn about the Pluma Coffee Project and teach universally designed barista classes in English, Spanish and sign language!
#memorylane #plumacoffee #thelucyfoundation #mexicocoffeeproject #coffeeeducators #disabilityinclusion #coffeesign

Coffee Educators Ltd
In September 2017, 3 Deaf team members from Coffee Educators embarked on a journey to support The Lucy Foundation in Pluma Hidalgo, Mexico. This is their story.
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5 days ago

The Lucy Foundation

2nd ANNOUNCEMENT: We are super excited to announce 2nd design by @annacolemanillustration for the Department of Brewology and The Lucy Foundation!

Remember, all profits from these prints will be donated to The Lucy Foundation, enabling us to continue our work by ensuring the coffee process is completely inclusive of disabled people from farmer to consumer. How's that for positive change?!

This collection is part of an on-going collaboration series with Department of Brewology - an American-based design-oriented brand devoted to the art & science of specialty coffee.

Here is our second profile from our inclusive value chain of coffee (Mexico to NZ) and Anna's amazing illustrations. Watch this space for more info about how to purchase these rad prints...

#thebestcoffeeofalliscoffeeforall #value #ableismistrash #thingsdisabledpeopleknow #plumacoffeeproject #socialenterprise #buygooddogood #nzinmexico #lucyear
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6 days ago

The Lucy Foundation

Our very own Dr. Robbie Francis is currently in Colombia with the Polus delegation to talk with land mine survivors about what they need to enable them to lead their best lives. She is also talking to coffee producers about disability inclusion and Universal Design in their washing stations and cupping labs.
#landminesurvivors #thelucyfoundation #disabilityinclusion #inclusivecoffee #universaldesign #poluscentreforsocialdevelopment

[Image description: In this photo Robbie Francis from The Lucy Foundation stands looking at the camera smiling. She is showing her prosthetic leg. To Robbie's right is landmine survivor Luis Ariel Ibarguen, also showing his prosthetic leg].As a member of the Polus Center's Colombian victim assistance delegation, Dr. Robbie Francis, Ph.D. from New Zealand and Director of The Lucy Foundation compares prosthetic legs with landmine survivor Luis Ariel Ibarguen.
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1 week ago

The Lucy Foundation

ANNOUNCEMENT: We are super excited to announce the launch of these epic designs by @annacolemanillustration for the Department of Brewology and The Lucy Foundation!

Profits from these prints will be donated to The Lucy Foundation, enabling us to continue our work by ensuring the coffee process is completely inclusive of disabled people from farmer to consumer. How's that for positive change?!

This collection is part of an on-going collaboration series with Department of Brewology - an American-based design-oriented brand devoted to the art & science of specialty coffee.

Over the comings days we will showcase profiles from our inclusive value chain of coffee (Mexico to NZ) and Anna's amazing illustrations. Watch this space for more info about how to purchase these rad prints...

#thebestcoffeeofalliscoffeeforall #value #ableismistrash #thingsdisabledpeopleknow #plumacoffeeproject #socialenterprise #buygooddogood #nzinmexico #lucyarm
... See MoreSee Less

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