Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
‘Coffee quilt’ raffle to aid religious education program in Guatemala Mission
by Jerry Monks, for the Inland Register
(From the February 19, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)
Coffee connections between Spokane and Guatemala are on the upswing – you might even say brewing – thanks to the Spokane Diocese Mission in Guatemala.
There was no anticipation of coffee production when the “Sister Diocese” agreement between Bishop Bernard Topel of Spokane and Bishop Angelo Melotto of Guatemala was signed 55 years ago. At that time, life in a dirt-floored hut on the mountain slopes was precarious. The average life span was 30 years, infant mortality by age 5 was around 50 percent, and an estimated 80-90 percent of the Mayan people were illiterate. Vaccinations were unavailable, and diseases like measles took their toll.
Over the years, numerous medical, pastoral, educational, and economic programs have been developed in the Highlands, thanks in large part to the faithful generosity of Spokane parishioners. One of the latest economic development programs is the growing, roasting, and sale of coffee beans.
Production of coffee began about five years ago at a remote site down at the elevation of 4,000 feet. The finished product, “Cafe de Adela,” is now marketed to restaurants and other retail outlets in Guatemala. The coffee project, along with various textile, agricultural, carpentry, and other endeavors, now provides employment for a large number of native people.
In recognition of the coffee project, a specially-made quilt, featuring 42 coffee cups, will be raffled off at the Third Annual Guatemala Mission Celebration at Barrister Winery in May. The “Jazzy Java in any language” quilt (one section of the quilt is shown above) includes the name used for coffee in various languages throughout the world. The different names are stitched, on the quilt, below each of the 42 cups.
Prior to the Barrister event, the quilt will be displayed on weekends at individual parishes of the Spokane Diocese. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase at a cost of $2 per ticket or 3 tickets for $5. Tickets can also be obtained by calling Patt at (509) 464-1497 or (708) 217-2264. Proceeds from the raffle will be used to support the religious education program for children in the Spokane Guatemala Mission.
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