Heavy Rains Affect Colombia and El Salvador

Tragedy reported today from El Salvador as heavy rains from Hurricane Ida are blamed for triggering a landslide which left at least 134 dead. From the Seattle Times:

Days of heavy rains loosed mud and boulders that rolled down the slopes of the Chichontepec volcano before dawn Sunday, burying homes and cars in Verapaz, a town of about 7,000 people 30 miles (50 kilometers) outside the capital, San Salvador.

Meanwhile, rains not associated with a specific storm have caused the Colombian coffee harvest to be projected as far less than expected (down as much as 30 percent!).  From Bloomberg.com:

Colombia, the world’s third-largest coffee producer, will harvest 30 percent less this year and output won’t return to “customary” levels until at least 2011, exporters said.

Colombia will produce “barely” 8 million bags in 2009, down from 11.5 million bags in 2008, said Mauricio Bernal, president of the committee overseeing Colombia’s national coffee exporters association.

Stories like these are a constant reminder to me of how fragile our environment is and what an ongoing challenge it is to practice agriculture for the people who grow what we all rely on for our livelihood, coffee, and how many obstacles they must overcome on a regular basis.

About the Author


Kenneth R. Olson is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers and the Washington Huskies. Go Blazers! Go Dawgs!