We spent the last three days of our trip to Colombia on isla Barú at a magical little place called Playa Manglares. Only an hour’s drive from the city of Cartagena but worlds apart. Here we were in the wild, by the calm sea and amongst palm trees, free-roaming chickens and countless geckos.
Every morning the rooster would start calling before dawn. At the same time various birds would join in and the geckos gecko-ing. The orchestra of nature surely beats the noise of traffic, but it did also mean that we didn’t really get enough sleep. So the coffee served at breakfast together with the fresh fruits (always a surprise) was a life saver. And not to mention the absolutely delicious.
Thanks to my trade statistician husband I learned that coffee is Colombia’s second largest export, after oil. When the global coffee prices dropped in the 1990s it hit Colombia’s economy hard and sent many small producers into further poverty and debt. This meant higher malnutrition amongst children, higher unemployment etc. With rising global prices, the economy has picked up and things are looking a bit better for the farmers.
So it hit me that drinking coffee is not only about my own sanity and well-being, but in doing so I’m also supporting others. Which means we should all drink more coffee! And not just any coffee but good coffee. Preferably fair trade and sustainably grown from countries like Colombia or Rwanda, where a large portion of their income relies on coffee exports. A cup of good coffee may go a long way for development.