EN los cafetales

Gabriella N. Báez

2018

Puerto Rico

Coffee, an essential part of the morning routine for most Puerto Ricans, pases by many hands before it reaches ours. For us to taste it and smell it’s aroma, the coffee needs to be planted, cultivated, picked and later sent to be toasted and pulverized. This process can only be done with the working hands of the agricultural industry of the island. As coffee is produced in high altitudes and low temperatures, rural communities of the mountain often take on this job.

Work on the plantations is not a fixed or secure job. Because workers are not paid hourly, their salary depends on the amounts of almuds workers fill. During high production seasons, workers can live off of the money they make at the plantations. However, during low seasons or if the crops have been affected because of a natural disasters, workers struggle to survive.

Hurricane María devastated the agricultural industry of the island, particularly coffee plantations. Many farms had to start from scratch to get back on their feet after the disaster. Even though it's been over a year since María, there are still many communities that are struggling to recuperate. Nevertheless, workers have lifted up the agricultural industry in order to get coffee to our tables.

This is a story of resilience, of struggle, of workers, of coffee. This is the story of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico.

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