- On December 12, 2018
- aroma de la sierra, award winning coffee, award winning mexican coffee, Coffee, coffee farms, coffee roaster, coffee roasting, coffee sourcing, gloria carrisoza, mexican coffee
The story of our Mexican coffee, Gloria, is an amazing one. As most small coffee producer stories are. This one however, is about a female entrepreneur that dreamed of running her own farm. For a long time, Gloria was an employee working as a coffee picker on others farms. She realized that going into business for herself would provide the most opportunity for her family. But like any business there are challenges. For Gloria, there is the language barrier. Her native language is not Spanish but Mazateco. An ethic language and culture that for many in her community is a barrier to move ahead in business/life.
From the beginning her aim was to produce a top specialty coffee. Gloria dedicated herself to producing amazing coffee, and through persistence and hard work she has reached the pinnacle of success. She has been recognized as one of the best women coffee producers in all of Mexico. In addition, she serves as an example to other women in her community and to the people around the world producing coffee. We are proud to have purchased Gloria’s award winning coffee for the 2nd year in a row. It’s an honor to roast a coffee this beautiful and we hope all of our customers have the opportunity to try this coffee. Please enjoy the Mexican news article about Gloria that we translated into English below.
Translation from this article posted: http://e-oaxaca.com/nota/2018-07-26/gobierno/reconocen-gloria-carrizosa
On July 26th, 2018, the local government of the city of Oaxaca (central Mexico) recognized Gloria Carrizosa, a local coffee producing business woman from the Mazatec region, after she was identified last year as one of the world’s best female coffee producers by the Vigilante Coffee company.
The article describes how Gloria (as she prefers to be called) refused to have her business dream die as many plantations in the Mazatec region have died. Gloria’s willingness to accept the challenge of producing a specialty coffee led her to be recognized as a top female coffee producer by the Vigilante company.
Gloria is discreet, of few words and reserved as is her fellow country-woman and “chamana” Maria Sabina. (Note: “Shamana is a sacred female shaman, with deep knowledge of plants and trees. A “chamana” knows ancestral secrets of the body, soul and possess the arts of healing and predicting with the help of nature.”)
Gloria, with origins in the San Lucas and Zoquiapam communities, won 2nd place in the 2017 Aromas Quality of Mexican Coffee contest, organized by Caravela Coffee and her aromatic was recognized as the “best coffee of the year.” In 2018, her coffee was awarded a 3rd place finish.
The humble coffee producer, along with other females entrepreneurs, was recognized at the onset of the “Hands of Oaxaquena Women”, a project organized by the Oaxaca Government.
Just as thousands of small producers of native coffee, Gloria is one of those producers. Little is known about these small native producers and to understand them requires getting close to them and learning their culture and dialect. Their language, Mazateco, is of ethnic origin and often becomes a barrier to be able to move ahead in business/life.
“It took me lots of work-Gloria stated- to recognize it as a high quality coffee.” As she does not understand Spanish well, she often depends on interpreters to understand what she is being told. However, with patience, Gloria understood she needed to stop simply being a gatherer or picker and become a small producer. She proposed to produce high quality coffee, to see if she could obtain better money for her coffee, although no one believed she could accomplish it, even less the men who live in many communities throughout Oaxaca who apply the politics of “customs and habits”, where the woman is ignored and has no right to offer her opinion.
Gloria stated that,initially, she looked after her parcel with care, following step by step the instructions received, often translated by others. When harvest time arrived,’Gloria armed herself with patience and dedicated all possible time to her assigned piece of land. Time is key to the producers. During a lengthy time period, she dedicated herself to harvesting 20 to 30 kilos of mature coffee. She was told she had to be very careful during harvest and that she should only cut mature coffee. She accomplished it little by little, a task which took her 3 months. In previous years,’she would gather/cut all her coffee in a one week period, often in a scrambled manner.
Gloria’s coffee was auctioned at more than 26 thousand pesos per bag ($1,276.34 USD) and here lies the importance of leaving behind being a gatherer/picker and becoming a mini-business person- Gloria’s is the example for she obtained 29 thousand pesos for every bag of coffee and that same amount of coffee, had she sold it in the informal market or to smugglers, would have only made between 4 and 5 thousand pesos ($196.15 USD).
During the ceremony, several other women were also recognized for exporting high quality coffees from the Oaxaca region. The coffee producing women of the region, many of them single parents, have labored over 50 years to provide for their children-food, clothing and education. Many of these women were abandoned by those overlooking the land sectors, often sinking them to extreme poverty. However, with the current coffee politics which the local government seeks to implement, these women see opportunity and a ray of hope- hope of moving ahead in business and in life.