Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wake up and smell the coffee

Here’s another entry for the “Things are looking better all the time in Mexico” file.

One of the reasons Mexican citizens have been pouring into the United States illegally is coffee. That’s right – coffee.

NAFTA notwithstanding, the price of coffee beans dropped in the 1990s. So what’s a farmer to do when his crop doesn’t sell for enough to pay expenses? (It shouldn’t be hard to find an American farmer who has been through that experience.)

Well, the answer is this: Close up shop and sneak into the United States. And Mexican coffee farmers did just that.

But now the bean is fetching a respectable price again. And if you grow the organic stuff you can make even more money.

So some good folks down in Agua Prieta (right across the border from Douglas AZ) opened a roaster plant using a micro-loan from a church. The beans are grown down in Chiapas (1,500 miles away), shipped to Agua Prieta, roasted, and then sold to Americans for a nice, tidy profit.

The fact that this roaster plant is right on the border gives illegals second thoughts. “Let’s see…That coffee smells really good…I’m staring at a high fence…I might get caught…They are getting tougher about IDs…Maybe I’ll go back home and grow coffee beans.”

Now, if only we can install some large fans and blanket the United States with the smell of Mexican-grown coffee beans we can reach a larger audience. Maybe we can mount the fans on top of those useless virtual fence towers.

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