Child Labour and other random thoughts while sitting here in Xela


Nov 12, 2008
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I am sitting here in Acantenango killing time before visiting some kids with Alex of Ensoluna Coffee Exporters. BTW I used to donate to other charities only to be disenchanted with the high administrative costs. Alex runs a grass roots organization where 100% of all donations go to the intended purpose. I am in awe as many donors that sponsor kids for 1 year or 2 before giving up due to circumstances, Alex feels bad and often ends up sponsoring the child for the balance of their education. He uses alot of personal resources as well as those of his wife, sister, in-laws and friends to help those in need.
I wish I could do more to help him.

I had the privilege of cupping with two Guatemalan Q graders the other day. What a treat that was. Comparing notes was quite educational as was the preparation protocols that they followed.

I understand that two corporate entities have put their foot (feet) down as far as child labour. It is a complicated discussion as the whole country lets school out during coffee harvest for that purpose. Mothers cannot afford to have someone else look after their kids so they go along with the mother for coffee harvest. Kids being kids help a little and contribute to the household but are productive like an adult labourer. The issue is that farms under contract cannot permit the kids to work helping their mothers. Mothers as a result will not work at farms that will not allow their kids to be with them and so they go to farms that will allow kids to be with them.

This as a result causes labour issues for those farms under supply agreements. Their labour costs end up being higher but the corporations being corporations will not pay more to ensure a living standard or provide for the supervision of the children. These are the very same companies that negotiate prices to the fraction of a cent. Very difficult situation indeed.
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