Photographer's Note

Another portrait from the coffee farm. Dona Vilma is one of those people that you meet in life who just makes you smile from the inside out. Though she hardly knew me, a big, gawky, and imposing gringa, Vilma instantly made me feel warm and welcome. Her hugs transcend any boundaries between race, class, politics and personal history.

Her life has not been easy as a Mayan woman, and she does her best to survive on what money fair trade coffee provides her; yes, perhaps it is more than any other market price, but fair trade does not bring the life of luxury to this farm in Guatemala. Despite what she lacks in material comforts, Vilma is quick to offer cafe, bananas, and anything else she has available. Her voice, in it's sing-song Spanish, will talk to you for for as long as you can listen about her life. She never once speaks an angry word about that which she does not have, nor turns it against those like me, the ones that do have much more than her when it comes to economic and educational comforts. Instead, she smiles, and wraps you up in her arms and promises that you are always welcome to visit and drink cafe and chat for hours.

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Additional Photos by Rebecca Engle (rsengle) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 12 W: 0 N: 10] (76)
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