LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (April 26, 2011) Caralampio Lopez Garcia, a farmer in Mexico and a Heifer International project participant, is one of several farmers featured in the new documentary, "After the Harvest." The documentary, funded by the Coffee Trust with a grant from Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., illuminates "los meses flacos" the thin months, when families are forced to eat less and less nutritious food, or to borrow against future earnings from coffee.
In southern Mexico, Heifer International works with coffee-growing communities to help families develop effective, sustainable methods of diversifying their sources of food and income.
"We work with people," said, Alejandro Musalem, Heifer Mexico country director. "The farmers are very inventive, very creative, so they find solutions."
A cornerstone of Heifer's work is the cornerstone "Passing on the Gift." Participants agree to pass on equivalent resources - including livestock, education and training - to another family in need, expanding the network of dignity, self-reliance and Sustainability.
Families who once were dependent on coffee for their livelihood are now farming fish, cultivating mushrooms, and producing organic honey - for consumption and to sell in local markets. This proven approach is now core to Heifer's growing presence in coffee communities throughout the region.
The thin months arrive every year just after the coffee has been harvested and just before the rains begin. It's a well-established "season" for coffee farmers, but widely unknown outside the coffee industry. Coffee professionals and consumers can help bridge the gap by supporting nonprofit organizations working on food security in coffee-growing communities.
The documentary is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, a longtime supporter of Heifer International and its efforts to rid the world of hunger.
For more information about Heifer's partnership with Keurig Green Mountain, or its sustainable development work, visit www.heifer.org. To learn more about "los meses flacos" or to see a clip from the film, visit www.aftertheharvest.org.
Heifer's mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 50 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.