Today I went to a coffee plantation, because Anca wanted to see the real Colombian coffee plantations. The real ones about which they talk in the books and movies. The ones which made UNESCO make this part of the world UNESCO World Heritage.
I was waiting there for somebody to take me in a tour. Waiting as a proper foreigner to go in another touristic tour where the guide tells you about the coffee process and sells you over expensive coffee in the end, and not in a family like estate, when people is passionate about it. And as I was waiting, a simple man with stain but clean cloths approaches me: Don Leo. When I see him I think: known Spanish is such an asset! He’s gonna tell me sooo many stories! Ha! That’s better than any well dressed guide!
As we go towards his estate, he tells me about the plants, coffee, about the organic coffee he makes, the new specie of coffee he grows, unique in the world. All these with a huge smile on this face and with a passion which one doesn’t get to see it too often in life. All his pores were literally emanating passion and proud for what was he doing.
Don Leo is a former peasant who use to collect the coffee harvest (cafetero). As every “cafetero” in Colombia he use to have a very taught time, living almost his entire life in inhuman conditions (100 people in a room with any unimaginable bad smells and lack of hygiene, discrimination from the coffee estate owners, super small salaries).
And his dream was to have a coffee estate (finca) to show the world it is not necessary to humiliate and take advantage the others in order to have a good life. Now he has his own finca where his employees earn well, eat at the same table as him, stay in the same house as him. He has lots of plans of planting new plants, of spreading the word about what he does and to welcome as many people want to step his house.
It was a real pleasure and very energizing meeting Don Leo. If you are in Colombia, pay him a visit. You can stay as long as you want. He’ll be super happy to show you his coffee plantations and inspire you his desire to make this world a better place.
Address: Finca Alsacia, Vereda Palo Negro, Buenavista, Quindio, Colombia
Thank you Don’ Leo for sharing with me your passion for life!