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The Guatemalan Dream: Fair Trade & Fair Politics

Thursday, June 18, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Omar Mejia, co founder of Café Conciencia and filmmaker Willy Barreno, will present their work creating economic development and awareness by weaving a network of community run cooperatives in Guatemala, the Guatemalan migrant
community in the United States and the American consumer who is interested in Fair-Trade and Organic principles. They will speak about connections with rural and indigenous communities who will self-preserve and grow by having equal access to food, shelter, employment and education. We are invested in the hopes that Guatemala’s producer community and U.S. market will cultivate a relationship that generates a sustainable and dignified way of life so that immigration in exchange for food is not the only option.

This event is organized by the Boston Interpreters Collective.

Café Conciencia markets products with organic and Fair-trade principles within a network of fair-trade conferences and educational workshops. Café Conciencia is an international non-profit organization that works in solidarity with
worker-owned cooperative communities in Guatemala to help them achieve social and economic justice and improve their overall quality of life.


Omar Mejía was born and raised in Xela, Guatemala. He is in the final phase of obtaining a degree in Agronomy from the University of San Carlos, Quetzaltenango. In 2003 he worked for the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Dairy investigating and reporting on the effects of the coffee economy in the Department of San Marcos. In 2002 he was Co-Director of a Spanish school where he planned and guided educational, social, and tourist activities. Omar has also studied education, and for over 12 years worked with groups of children, youth, and adults in Xela and various communities teaching math and natural sciences.

Willy Barreno is the producer of the film Documigrante which traces the journey of Guatemalans coming to the United States and explores the root causes of this migration and its impact on communities back in Guatemala.