For some of us, the day doesn’t start until we have a cup of coffee. Sure, the sun is up and, technically, so are we. But until that first sip of warm coffee, we’re basically sleep walking. However, when we sat down and talked to Hesuda Munoz, one of the Mujeres en Café, about coffee as a way of life, she gave us a new-found respect for the phrase: “But first, coffee.”
Hesuda was born and raised in Huila, Colombia. According to her, she’s “Huila through and through, Colombian to the bone.” And because Huila is one of the greatest coffee-growing regions in the world, coffee means a lot to her. Watching Hesuda harvest the red coffee fruit from her plot is like seeing an artist at work. She understands the plants in a way that almost no one else can. To her, even the commute to work is something of an art.
We were lucky enough to follow the Mujeres en Café through their daily routines and, well, it was hard to keep up. The coffee farms of Huila sit at great heights in the mountainous terrain. To reach the plots, we hiked through the most stunning landscapes with lush and verdant greenery spreading out in every direction. On one excursion we had to cross a bridge made of a wooden plank with a rope railing. Hesuda and other Mujeres en Café crossed with ease. Let’s just say, we made it eventually. We asked her if that was something she ever struggled with.
Without hesitation Hesuda said, “I don’t see it as difficult. It’s something that I enjoy, something that I see as beautiful. Walking through the fields, climbing the hillsides… It’s something beautiful.”
When you’re proud of where you’re from and what you do, it shows. Hesuda and the Mujeres en Café of Huila, Colombia, believe that coffee is life and oh, what a beautiful life it is.