ORGULLO LATINOReading time: 3 minutes
Welcome to the Orgullo Latino publication. This is where we’ll be sharing news, information, and general stories highlighting all beauty and positivity that our people, communities, and countries in and from Latin America have to offer.
Why are you so obsessed with being Latino?
Well, I was born in Guatemala to a Nicaraguan father and Peruvian mother. We left Guatemala after a massive earthquake destroyed the capital and moved to Nicaragua--only to find ourselves in the middle of a revolution. We didn't leave the house for about a year and when we did, it was to leave everything behind to make a run for the Costa Rican border. We lived in peace in Costa Rica for a bit then moved to Peru during the days of violence by the Shining Path. Eventually we made it to the Miami where we shared experiences with other immigrants--mostly Cuban.
Through all this, my perspective of Latin America has been nothing but incredibly positive and nostalgic. I remember the foods, the markets, the kind people, the beautiful buildings, and so much more. It's why I don't exploit myself and my family by talking about our troubles and hardships. I see everything that happened to us as a blessing and an opportunity. Unfortunately, most media outlets don't portray our communities with a positive light. I even had to downplay my "Latinoness" growing up in the DC area in the 80's just to feel like I could be accepted. That continued as I grew the business and our coffee was assumed to be of lower quality because it was an "ethnic brand". Now, I'm a grown man with a very successful business that creates positive impact throughout our supply chain and markets. So...I want to share and celebrate who I am and where I come from.
You're a coffee company. Why a publication?
I'm glad you asked :) I started what is now Mayorga Coffee about 25 years ago to help a family friend who was a coffee farmer in Nicaragua. Through this journey I've know that what drives me isn't coffee (gasp!). It's my culture. It's the people that I've met along the way. The communities that have been negatively impacted by abusive coffee traders. The farming families that work so hard to earn just enough to live. The immigrants who aren't given a chance at quality jobs because they have an accent. My people. My communities. My heritage. That's what moves me. Coffee is the conduit that I use to create opportunity, right some historical wrongs, watch those around me grow, and make a positive impact. It's how I give back to the countries that formed me during my first 12 years and how I leverage the privilege I had to move to the US. Don't get me wrong, we do coffee better than anyone, but we do it with the perspective that people matter more than product and profit.
Now... let’s celebrate our Orgullo Latino!
So now you know the why behind this endeavor. Let's figure out the "how" together. Join us in conversations about our communities, our food, our people, our accomplishments. Celebrate our positive influences in the US and in our home countries. Learn about our delicious foods, our historical cities, and how our heritage is being woven into the fabric of the United States. Yes, we've had our challenges and we'll continue to have them, but we're strong people with strong values, defined cultures, a belief that anything we dream of is possible. Let't focus on the good. Let's focus on the tremendous impact we've had. Let's keep making a positive impact. This is what ORGULLO LATINO is all about.
BTW, if you want to suggest article ideas or even submit an article, please email me at Martin@MayorgaCoffee.com