Umi Asaka

Umi joined The Lucy Foundation team in 2017 as an intern. She is a second year student at the University of Otago and is studying social work. She has a lived experience of disability, and is very passionate about inclusion in society. She is amazed by the outcomes of the Pluma Coffee project already, and is excited for much more to come.

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That's a wrap! Thanks for sharing the coffee dream with us Co-Ed. Safe travels back to Aotearoa New Zealand - we can't wait to hear your stories, see your photos and share your videos. Watch this space, more coming soon. ... See MoreSee Less

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Friday feels: After days in the dark following the massive earthquake in Mexico, the power has been turned on just in time for the TLF and Co-Ed barista training! Wohoo!

Power permitting, they'll run two three-day courses in Barista training skills; one for local people with disabilities and then another for teenagers that are gearing up to leave school.
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QUAKE UPDATE: When we met with the Coffee Educators Ltd crew a couple of months back to talk through the Pluma Hidalgo visit, we told them to expect power outages. We chuckled at the thought of trying to use sign language in the dark, while holding a torch in their mouths so they can see each other sign!

Little did we know, a massive earthquake would plunge Pluma into days without power, phone reception or water! Contact is still limited, but family members report some contact with the Sanders (Jessica Pantoja-Sanders), Amber Shaw, Julz Russ and Tagialofa Sefina Eneliko. There is no town water supply so they're collecting rain water from the roof. Unfortunately, without power there is no way to pump the water back into the tank. Apparently the Sanders managed to pay someone to use their inverter, so they could run it off their car battery and fill the tank back up with rain water. Despite the darkness, spirits are high and they're all enjoying screen free candlelit card games. Slips and cracks in the roads mean access is limited, and a few buildings have come down. But most have already been fixed up.

And perhaps our favourite report... Ebony Sanders (5) slept through the entire quake! Classic! <3 <3 <3 😴😴😴
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Morena! We just wanted to let you know we were finally able to touch base with TLF Field Director, Jessica Pantoja-Sanders, and the Coffee Educators Ltd crew in the night. They are shaken but safe following the 8.1 earthquake in Mexico.

Power remains out in Pluma and it sounds like there's a lot of structural and internal damage. But incredibly, no serious injuries. Phone data and battery is limited, so if they don't reply to your messages straight away, it's only because they're saving juice! They are now checking in with neighbours and friends to make sure they are ok too.

We'll keep you updated when we hear more. Thank you for all your concerns, messages, thoughts and prayers <3
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