A Cafecito Story, by Julia Alvarez; afterword by Bill Eichner; woodcuts by Belkis Ramirez (White River, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2001)
Much is accomplished in this slim volume to educate readers about fair trade coffee. First, novelist Julia Alvarez tells the story of Joe, whose life changes when he purchases a small patch of land for growing coffee in the Dominican Republic, choosing, along with his neighbors, to grow it the “old way.” Alvarez’s husband, Bill Eichner, follows, briefly recounting their own story of a similar purchase and continuing efforts growing and selling Dominican Republic fair trade coffee and, at book’s end, readers find a welcome list of resources. Centered in the Dominican Republic, but mirroring coffee growing worldwide, the beautifully illustrated A Cafecito Story will change the way you look at your morning cup of coffee.
Supper is a bowl of víveres, the boiled roots that the family is accustomed to eating in the evenings. Afterwards, Joe learns about Miguel’s farm, planted with coffee the old way, under shade trees that offer natural protection to the plants, filtering the sun and the rain, feeding the soil and preventing erosion. Not to mention attracting birds that come to sing over the cherries. – from A Cafecito Story, by Julia Alvarez