Sharing Parish -
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
in the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas
in Chiapas, Mexico
St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish, founded in 1567 by Dominican Missionaries to the New World, works actively to alleviate the suffering of area families in this small corner of the world. The pastor, Fr. Carmelo Cortez, a Chicago Archdiocesan priest currently serving in Mexico, approached me with the idea of helping the Catholic farming families residing there.
Their economic situation can only be described as meager. They grow coffee, corn, and beans. The corn and bean crops are for their own use, but they sell the coffee crops for less than one dollar per pound. The low price imposed by middlemen coffee buyers makes climbing out of poverty impossible.
The pastor with local parish leaders have agreed on a course of action that would most benefit area families. They envision improving the return on their crops by compelling these middlemen to pay a better price for their coffee crops by organizing a “coffee producers’ cooperative.” In this way, they will produce their own coffee brand. They will roast, grind, and sell their packaged coffee to interested buyers at a fairer price. They are enthused about this farmers’ cooperative and are willing to work hard to learn the production process from roasting to selling it.
We are eager to help out this innovative sharing parish serving fellow Catholics in the developing world who walk towards a more hopeful tomorrow for themselves and their families.
Thank you in advance on their behalf for your generosity and kind heart as together we seek to alleviate the plight of the poor and brokenhearted.