Yancey Quiñones: A Strong Blend of Culture, Commitment and Community

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Yancey Quiñones: A Strong Blend of Culture, Commitment and Community

Master coffee roaster and owner of Antigua Coffee House in Los Angeles donates talents to aid Zapatista Coffee Farm Co-op in Palenque region of Chiapas, Mexico

July 15, 2009
Written by Susie Albin-Najera

Yancey Quiñones is the quintessential example of what makes America such a great country. A native Angelino with Guatemalan and Mexican ancestry, whose family history in the coffee business dates back to 1865, Quiñones has taken admirable steps to give back to a certain community in Chiapas, Mexico.

Quiñones, owner of the popular Antigua Coffee House in Los Angeles and master roaster himself since 2000, donates time and talents each month to Cafe Para La Vida Digna, a recognized co-op and project of the Autonomous Municipality in Rebellion, Ricardo Flores Magon in Chiapas, Mexico. This organization, run by volunteers, helps coffee farmers in the region of Palenque, both crop and harvest the coffee. When the “green beans” are ready, they are put in burlap sacks and transported to Los Angeles, where Quiñones roasts between 200-500 lbs. per month for the organization.

“I got involved in roasting their “raw coffee” about three years ago when it was brought to my attention that they needed someone else to do their roasting,” states Quiñones. “At the time, they were roasting their coffee via other coffee roasters in the area. But what happened was, they were being overcharged by these “other” roasters.”

Understanding the struggles of such communities, Quiñones offered to help.

“I decided to invite them to a roasting session of mine within my facility. I offered to help and cut down their “bottom line”. It worked out and at times I just volunteer the roasting charges and donate my time. I only charge them a minimal charge, which is totally affordable.”

When the roasting is done, the coffee is packaged and sent out with the volunteers to distribute.

“The effort taken by these volunteers is enormous. They have deep commitments to the disenfranchised Mayan populations in the south of Mexico.”

According to Quiñones, the farm is registered with both U.S. and Mexican customs and the money they earn is sent back to the co-op through the organization which helps the community make repairs, buy material for schools and contributes to a healthier life in their community.

“I do it because I care for these people and because we, as Americans, have so much in this country.”

Antigua Coffee House, serving premium organic coffees and teas, will hold its grand reopening launch mid August 2009 at its new location, 3400 N. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90065.

For more information, visit www.antiguacoffeehouse.com

To learn more about Café Para La Vida Digna visit http://www.cafeparalavidadigna.com/

Susie Albin-Najera can be reached at themexicoreport@yahoo.com


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Susie Albin-Najera
Susie Albin-Najera is the creator and editor of The Mexico Report, an award winning travel blog showcasing news, deals and resources for the modern traveler. Najera is a writer, author, travel blogger, marketing and public relations specialist and producer. Najera serves on the host committee for Maestro Cares, founded by singer Marc Anthony and producer Henry Cardenas; and on the advisory board for Corazon de Vida, providing aid to children in Mexico. She is also the creator of 'The Real Heroes of Mexico' showcasing community heroes in Mexico and producer of Latino Thought Makers. Najera has been recognized by the Mexican Consulate and Mexico Tourism Board for fostering positive relations between countries and her dedication to showcasing Mexico as a premiere destination. She can be reached at info@themexicoreport.com

2 comments for “Yancey Quiñones: A Strong Blend of Culture, Commitment and Community

  1. Anonymous
    2009-07-20 at 11:52 pm

    I'll look to visit Antigua some time… maybe we could go together in the fall?!? hugs and love, Wallyce

  2. Anonymous
    2009-07-16 at 4:02 pm

    Really enjoyed this piece…many thanks, Susie.Adam

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