From 12-14 April, my colleagues at CRS West in California will be hosting Rigoberto Contreras Díaz, a smallholder coffee farmer and representative of the Yeni Navan/MICHIZA association in Oaxaca, Mexico. Rigo will be traveling throughout Southern California for a few days in advance of next week’s SCAA Expo and sharing his perspectives on coffee, Fair Trade and sustainability.
Rigo is from the community of Santa Rosa, in the state of Oaxaca, and a founding member of the MICHIZA cooperative, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2010.
He has served in formal leadership positions within Yeni Navan for 15 years, including one turn as the organization’s elected president. He currently serves on the organization’s Board of Directors as the director of sales and marketing. Rigo was also selected by the organization to coordinate the critically important coffee renovation activities undertaken in connection with the CAFE Livelihoods project.
Rigo will discuss his experiences as a coffee farmer and community leader, share his perspectives on sustainability and answer questions.
For what it is worth, I have had the privilege of getting to know Rigo a bit over the last year or two and think he has an awful lot to share. In addition to knowing all parts of the cooperative’s business as a result of so many years of service in positions of leadership, he has an inspiring vision and new ideas for sustainable coffee that challenges existing frameworks. In short, if you live in Southern California and have the opportunity, go meet this guy and hear what he has to say!
These are the public events on Rigo’s calendar so far:
Monday, 12 April
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
Aromas Coffee House
Tuesday, 13 April
St. Martin’s of Tours Academy
7708 El Cajon Blvd
La Mesa, CA 91942
For more information, contact Anne Pacheco at 619-466-3241
Wednesday, 14 April
Fair Trade San Diego
Christ Lutheran Church, Pacific Beach
4761 Cass Street
For more information, contact Dawn Starry at 619-446-7932