Coffee News from Velasquez Family Coffee.
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With students returning to school here in Minnesota, it seems appropriate to top this newsletter with a photo of students waiting outside the two-room school house near the family coffee farm in Rio Negro. More below about our back to school activities, coffee fundraiser opportunities, and news from Honduras and the world of coffee.

First, a quick reminder 
that we'll be doing our September coffee deliveries on Friday, September 9. If you live (or work) in Minneapolis or St. Paul and some suburbs, we can add you to our free delivery route. If you don't live in these areas, we're happy to mail coffee to you. Just get your coffee order to us before noon Wednesday, September 7 by contacting us at or ordering through our website. Our next delivery date will be 
Friday, October 14th.
Back to School
The past few weeks in our household have been occupied with getting our children ready to head back to school. A few weeks ago, we took our middle son off to his first year of college at SDSU in Brookings, SD where he plans to study Ecology and Natural Resource Management. In a few days, our oldest son will be heading back to his fourth year at Gustavus to finish up a degree in Math Education. Thankfully, we're not empty-nesters yet as as our daughter will be starting high school at Highland Park Senior High next week and that should keep us busy attending her volleyball games and other activities.

In Honduras, the school year actually runs according to the coffee harvest, so students break during November, December and January. Guillermo's sister-in-law Bertilia is the school master in this 2-room school house in Rio Negro near the coffee farm that serves about 70 children between 1st and 6th grades. Older children, including Avilio and Bertilia's own children, often stay with family members in the city in order to continue their education after 6th grade. We're grateful we were able to keep our kids around longer and yet it is bittersweet to see or sons head off for new adventures.

Since our middle son was helping with our monthly coffee deliveries, there will be a few shifts in our Saint Paul delivery routes now that he is off to college. We'll notify those of you who will be impacted directly.
Coffee Fundraiser
Velasquez Family Coffee is pleased to work with a number of schools, mission projects and nonprofit organizations to raise funds for their work. Let us help you design a coffee fundraiser for your organization.
  • Sell coffee on consignment at an event.
  • Take advance coffee orders.
  • Promote monthly coffee subscriptions to be credited to your group.
In preparation for the new school year, we have created several new resources to help support our coffee fundraisers including a new flyer and order form, sample promotional emails and more. Contact us for more information. We'd love to work with you to create a fundraiser that works for your group.
News about Honduras and the World of Coffee
Each month as we prepare to write our monthly newsletter, we generally do a google search for news about Honduras and/or Coffee. Here are a few highlights from several interrelated stories that popped up in our searching today.
  • Environmental activists still under threat in Honduras six months after Berta Cáceres’ killing, September 2, 2016 article in The Guardian. "Six months after two armed men walked into Berta’s home one evening and murdered her in cold blood, Honduras has become a no-go zone for anybody daring to protect natural resources such as land and water from powerful economic interests."
  • Will coffee become extinct? August 31, 2016 article in the Christian Science Monitor about the impact of Climate Change on our favorite beverage. "Millions of coffee farmers in developing countries that depend on their robust coffee export businesses, such Honduras, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Guatemala, could go out of business. These countries are among the world's most threatened by climate change."
  • Finding a Good Cup of Coffee Is About to Get Much Harder, September 1, 2016 article in Mother Jones. "So what can coffee-quaffing northern-hemisphere consumers do? Look for brands that that pay extra to support small coffee growers and help them adapt to climate change, the report suggests. But the authors make clear that averting a coming coffee dystopia will require more than enlightened consumerism: We can't save coffee or protect the millions of people who produce it without cutting back greenhouse gas emissions worldwide."
On a happier note, we were excited to see a new blog post about Honduras from the couple who created our promotional video. (See our July newsletter "Encounters of Kindness and Beauty"). They write, "Filled with beautiful national parks and even more amazing people, Honduras was nothing like what you hear about in the news. We absolutely loved our month in this amazing country, and it quickly became one of our favorites that we've visited on this trip."

We encourage you to take the time to watch all 26 minutes of the beautiful video that summarizes their month traveling in Honduras but if you don't have that much time you can jump to the part that features the Comayagua National Mountains near our family's coffee farm (starting at 5:35) and the Velasquez Family (9:20-13:30). It is really fun to watch the back story of how they created the video with Guillermo's brother Avilio and his wife Bertilia, especially the part where they film them watching the video for the first time.
Climate Action: Stand in Solidarity
Like in Honduras, indigenous peoples here in the United States are courageously taking leadership to protect our land, water and communities from the impact of environmentally destructive activities. Gaining media attention most recently, "The people of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation are leading a growing protest against the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline designed to carry a half-million barrels of oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in northwest North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois."1 This pipeline battle is of particular interest to us as several of Cathy's family members farm in the area of South Dakota where the Dakota Access Pipeline is to be built.

We are grateful to see that cities like Saint Paul and Minneapolis have recently approved resolutions in support of these protests and religious leaders like our own United Methodist Bishop Bruce Ough have also made powerful statements in solidarity.

You too can add your voice of support to the Sacred Stone Camp. Sign a petition, make a donation or join the protest. More details here.

As Bishop Ough writes, "Their protest is informed by the memory of broken treaties and disingenuous promises. Their protest reflects that water and ancestral grounds are sacred to the Lakota and Dakota peoples and cannot be owned or controlled or desecrated by themselves or others. Their protest is on behalf of all who rely on the Missouri waters for drinking, irrigation, and recreation all the way to the Gulf of Mexico."
Velasquez Family Coffee
Shade Grown | Hand Picked | Sun Dried | Fair Trade
Directly from our Family to You
Copyright © 2016 Velasquez Family Coffee, All rights reserved.

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