Posted by Runa Juhanisdotter
It’s been a very exciting winter for ReFashionReFood and the ReThink movement. After participating with a Challenge during OSCE Days (Open Source Circular Economy), with a brainstorming workshop on how to spread the ReThink Festival globally, we’ve started the work on the open source DIY manual, we’ve held events in Manchester (UK) plus Marcala (HN) and sister festivals in Vejle (DK) and Los Angeles (US) are in the tube.
We’re increasing our presence in Honduras. Besides strengthening ties and deepening our collaboration with COMSA International School in Marcala, we’re teaming up with Catracha Coffee and their community in Santa Elena, 25 kilometers southwest of Marcala towards the El Salvador border.
Santa Elena is set in an enchanting, secluded mountain landscape, some 1600 metres above sea level, where coffee and corn fincas fight against the elements and climate change. The small village is like something straight out of a cool spaghetti western with adobe houses painted in bright colors, macho men wearing sombreros on strong horses, cows and chicken walking freely and chuchas (mutts) roaming the dusty streets, sometimes in howling packs.
Right there in the center of the ‘pueblo’, a vibrant and inspiring project is taking shape. This is where Mayra (native to Santa Elena) and Lowell Powell are building Catracha Coffee, a community and social enterprise dedicated to accessing the specialty coffee market for small, local coffee farmers. A patient, loving project with a mission that goes beyond coffee to promote prosperity for women and the next generation in Santa Elena.
Catracha Coffee participated in the ReThink Festival Marcal on February 3 and the plan is to arrange a festival in Santa Elena as well next year. Moreover, we’re initiating fruitful collabs within Catracha’s business incubator, through projects like BunnyMission and Bybaba Fiber Circus. And since we’re movin’ n’ grovin’ our way into speciality coffee, of course we’ll collaborate on that cup as well. Catracha Coffee is another brilliant example of excellent coffee for a cause. What else? Well, since Mayra and Lowell run a cool artist-in-residency program, some joint artivism is also on the horizon.
In times of increasing political turmoil, climate change and social injustice, creative action and skill sharing are key. This winter Ela Roth and I, had the pleasure to hold training workshops on how to make global impact sock bunnies and how to knit at Catracha. We also had the honor to visit the new local high school in Santa Elena to give a really cool upcycling workshop and to give a talk on the pressing need to build international grassroot networks and sustainable, local communities.