In April, we also celebrated the Day of the Coffee Grower at Piedra de Cachimbo in northern Venezuela, where we are working toward Smithsonian Bird Friendly Coffee® certification with support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Fund. This project, called USCAFE, protects and expands agroforestry and natural habitat for Red Siskins, migratory species and other birds, increases profits for farmers, and strengthens traditional shade cultivation of coffee.
The day was a great success, with over 100 community members gathering to celebrate traditional livelihoods and cultural heritage. Schoolchildren opened the day with dances accompanied by Venezuelan folk music. Then “Birds and Coffee” project field technician,Luis Arrieta, with Provita team members Valentina Cedeño, Silvia Gómez, Ingrid Zager, Adriana Pizzi, and Carlos Peláez gave a few words of welcome. Linsabel Noguera, from La Rana Encantada, continued with storytelling and a session of bird-inspired origami.
Cecilio Monterrey, a local coffee farmer, then demonstrated a traditional coffee roasting technique, followed by a coffee tasting. Guests sampled varieties from Miranda and Trujillo states, under the guidance of David Ibañez, Cristian Gallo and Luis Doradofrom the Academia de Baristas in Maracay, Venezuela. To close the day, children played “bird-bingo”, created with birds of the Piedra de Cachimbo region. Players won coloring books and sweets while at the same time learning more about local Venezuelan wildlife. We look forward to repeating El Día del Caficultor in 2019!