Spotted via the PT’s Coffee blog, this true-life tail of tragedy from Colombia, where armed bandits raided the farm of Armando Benavides. PT’s Coffee founder Jeff Taylor was actually there on the ground in Colombia as this story happened; we’ll let him speak for himself.
Bandits raided [Mr. Benavides’] farm Friday night near Buesaco, Nariño, taking everything in sight, even if it was bolted down.
The farm manager later reported that two masked men with guns came to the farm on Friday night around 8pm.They tied him up and put him in the back of the car they were driving. His family was locked in one of the homes on the property, along with the dogs.
Then, more bandits joined the first two and they robbed Armando and his family of everything on the farm. They took his beds, his furniture, his motors to run the coffee processing equipment, and even the coffee that was drying on the patio or in bags in the warehouse. They took everything they could find for the next 5+ hours.
They took everything except Armando’s and his family’s spirit. His children, Valeria and Juan Pablo, rallied around their father, as did his wife, Magali. Thats what family’s do after all, they prop us up during times of trouble.
The farm manager, who was locked in the car, was set free, unharmed, on the side of a road around 3am in the morning. Thats when Armando got the life changing phone call. The family and dogs were still scared to death in the home where they lived. No one was injured, but they were plenty scared.
When Maritza and I finally arrived at the farm the following Tuesday morning, Armando was emotional, but strong. Resilient. Undaunted. The harvest would go on and the coffee would make it to market so that he could feed his family.
Community and family members have rallied around to help them, and we are stepping up as well to raise some funds and help Armando and his family rebuild.
You can click the donation links on the top or bottom of this feature to get involved in the recovery of Finca Santa Maria after this devastating series of events. Click here to actually purchase some of PT’s Finca Santa Maria coffee, and learn more about the finca by watching this video below.
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