10 cents 12/26/2010
Do any of you remember when coffee was 10 cents?  For those of us who like to reminiesce a little and remember the good 'ole days from time to time, you might like to know there's a little cafe in Kalispell, Montana that serves fresh hot coffee, delivered to you in person by a waitress with a smile, for $10 cents. 

You all know and have been to at least one boutique coffee house that regularly charges you $500 cents for a cup of hot coffee, tastes burnt, but you drink it anyway.  That $500 cents is $5 bucks cold hard after tax dollars cash. 

Compare if you will, the minium wage in Mexico is $500 cents per day, not per hour, but per day.  $5 bucks per day for working an 8 hour labour day. 

So what is the point I am going to get to? And make?

I yearn for the day of the $10 cents per cup hot steaming fresh out of the pot coffee.  And I've thought a lot about what to do with that extra $490 cents I've shelled out for the boutique coffee trip.  Those extra $490 cents for hot steaming burnt coffee is, well, pretty unattractive when you start thinking about what those $490 cents could do for a life or a bunch of lives. 

Okay, my point.  Make your coffee at home if you live anywhere other than Kalispell, Montana where you could, if you live there, drop by the little 50's era cafe that serves fresh hot steaming coffee in a white cup served by a waitress with a smile on her face and a thank you for $10 cents per.  Then, because you are making your coffee at home for less than $10 cents per cup, donate those other $490 cents to a cause you believe in.  Maybe the cause of providing food to the poor.  $490 cents to fill the rumbling bellies of children who walk miles and miles to school with nada but one tortilla or a watery cup of milk to sustain them.  Often, not even that.  Or, perhaps, to put seeds into the hands of the poor and disadvantaged parents of these children so they can plant a garden and harvest vegetables for their table.  Oh, I forgot, they don't have a table.  For their cooking pot I mean.

How much food will $490 cents buy in rural Mexico?  First, $490 cents is about $50 pesos give or take a few pesos. 
For 50 pesos you can take a taxi to and from home within a small city area, for instance.  You could buy a six pack of beer or a bottle of nice Chilean wine.  Or, you could buy food for the poor.  50 pesos will buy 1 kilogram packet of white rice 10 pesos, 1 kilogram packet of pinto beans 15 pesos.  Now you have the basics for 25 pesos.  You are going to buy an onion or two, a pototoe - just one because they are very very expensive in Mexico, a small tomatoe or two, a small cucumber, a jalapeno or two, and maybe a 5 peso packet of mixed raw veggies for soup.  You are NOT going to buy any meat, eggs, milk, bread, toilet tissue, aspirin or soap.  You ARE going to buy a 5 peso, 1 kilo packet of fresh tortillas from the tortilleria. If you pass on the potatoe, you could buy cilantro instead.  The locals forage for cactus, for 'tuna' fruits, for grubs and kernels of dry corn dropped out of the bottoms of rails cars.

$50 pesos, your $490 cents or $5 bucks, just bought a week's basic necessity grocery to feed a familiy of four in central Mexico. 

Next time you even think about that steaming cup of boutique burnt coffee, think also about how many days a week you could make a cuppa at home instead and give $490 cents to fill bellies that are so empty they know nothing but the feeling of hunger, day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out and year in and year out, nothing but the feeling of hunger and the daily foot search for foods, for water, for pieces of sticks for a fire.

Or you could, in effect, teach a man how to fish.  You know that line.  Pun intended. 

Donate your precious $490 cents to buy packets of seeds for planting vegetables and herbs in the backyards of the poor.  Some peoples have indeed forgotten how to cultivate and harvest. 

If you are inclined to ask yourself "how and where can I help" once you have pondered the exponential economic benefit of contributing $490 cents or $50 pesos to the uplifting of the poor and the hungry for cents a day versus contributing to the exhorbitant inflationary boutique coffee house fad, this is a recommendation I feel is certain to win you over. 

I know and have worked with a dedicated and committed Mexican man, Ezequiel Mojica, who is uplifting his people.  He is a good man.  He is teaching his people how to 'plant and harvest for their own table, uh, cooking pot". 
Check it out. 

Ask him how many packets of seeds $490 cents or $50 pesos will buy. 
Ask him how much crop will be produced with your donation of $490 cents or $50 pesos. 
Ask him how many children's hungry bellies will become  happy well-fed bellies with your donation of $490 cents or $50 pesos. 

That's the hunger pulpit for today, Boxing Day, December 26th, from here at the end of the road at the bottom of the tip of the gulf de nicoya pacifica.



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    Woman, Advocate, Writer, Humanitarian. Soothing my soul with Art, Music,Yoga, Pets, Meditation. Favorite place - kitchen. Favorite thing to do - cook and entertain friends. Past-time - thinking.


    December 2010



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