Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sleep. Sleep Tonight.

if you've ever been to my friend edwin's family's coffee farm, you will surely remember the farm's patriarch of a manager, carlos. a wizened and wily veteran of years spent managing a coffee farm, he was as humble a presence at the dinner table as any man could be who had forgotten way more than everyone else around him would ever know about coffee.

father of twelve, he now leaves his wife a widow mother of eleven, for he (age 47) and his second oldest child (age 16) were killed a few days ago by roadside bandits. the two were traveling back up the valley from the city to the coffee farm with supplies for an upcoming church mission trip the farm would be hosting. they also had payroll with them, which in that part of remote guatemala during harvest season means cash and lots of it. a wise manager will stagger pay days randomly during the harvest to help protect the just-paid workers from coordinated attacks by bandits. it is logical to assume that this strategy was being employed by carlos as well, which makes the seeming randomness of the event all the more maddening. in those remote valleys, on those empty, rugged switchback roads the crime of opportunity simply must have been too good to pass up: the two lives that stood in the way but bumps in the road to whatever vices lay ahead for the perpetrators.

and so the lives of these two gentle souls were taken for the passing and corrupting thrill of the love of money, the root of all evil. we are all the poorer for it.

Rest in peace, brothers. Though most reading this may never have met you, and others--myself included--only briefly knew you, your lives connected with ours and we are the worse for your loss. Sleep. Sleep tonight. And may your dreams be realized.



At Friday, 22 February, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for this post. i am a missionary in bosnia and moved here with 30 lbs of carlos's crop. i never met him but have heard enough to know that we are indeed poorer, and heaven richer by his murder. lord have mercy.
--Rob Mezger

At Friday, 22 February, 2008, Anonymous caroline said...

Thank you for sharing this story and the photographs. It makes people more aware that the coffee they drink each day isn't from a bag or a can - but is produced by hard work and dedication and often in countries facing dangers we don't think about in our daily lives.

At Saturday, 23 February, 2008, Blogger Coffee Slingers said...

I second what Caroline said, adding my condolences to the people who loved them...father and son,right? god bless and thanks for the report.

At Saturday, 23 February, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences to the family, we harvest coffee with blood because our hearts are in every step of the process and it is our passion to simply keep going. My condolences from Kafes Guatemala indeed.

Pablo Castaneda

At Saturday, 01 March, 2008, Anonymous steve kessler said...

My sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. This is indeed a tragedy.


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