Resiliente: Inclusive Cafe in Cuernavaca and Migrant center in southern Morelos
In 2012 a small group of psychology students set up a coffee stand at the Morelos state university to create minimal income for their school expenses. It was a hit. They soon realized how little the coffee producers made on their coffee compared to its market price. They decided that their profits allowed them to pay a fair price to the coffee producers directly. They continued to grow and rented a small store front, and decided to hire attendants with disabilities.
More success followed and they opened another cafe adopting the name “Resiliente”, resilient in English. All the staff have intellectual or auditory disabilities. ResilienteMx dreams of a world where we want to understand each other and where every voice is heard. As Deby Macedo, a founder, says: “Why does the person with auditory disability make all the effort to communicate? Why don’t we make the same effort?” So the menu has a sign language guide for the customers.
Here is a glimpse of the more beautiful world we want: A young boy, Jesús, came into the café selling cookies. The staff was concerned for the boy, who they believed should be in school. Marco Santos, another founder of the project, spoke to him and heard the family’s story: living in a train car, working at a bakery, and surviving on the sale of baked goods. Now, Jesús is the official cookie supplier for the café and goes to school!
Resiliente strives to be totally inclusive, accessible, and sustainable. It practices fair, local trade; and crosses social, cultural, and economic divides; and is being consulted by institutions, beyond the borders of Mexico, about best practices in inclusive labor.
Migrant Center in Xochitepec
If all that wasn’t enough! The Resiliente collective got word of the awful conditions for migrant workers coming from vulnerable and violent stricken communities in the states further south in Mexico to work the fields in Morelos. Eighty families work fields surrounding a migrant center, a converted warehouse where they live. They work and live in horrible conditions with tremendous sacrifice to keep their families alive.
ResilienteMx, using some of their own profits and with guidance and additional financial support from Wellspring Karitas Foundation, set up a cafeteria in the migrant center in 2019. Two years later a delegation of Rotarians and Interactors from Arizona visited the project, and the cafe downtown, and were so inspired they have joined us both financially and in kind. Elizabeth Mahoney and her business, Everest Financial, have become monthly sustainers. Local Rotarians have also connected in Cuernavaca and now hold many of their meetings at the cafe, and they have mobilized their networks for food and other goods to be delivered to the migrant center.
“It is an oasis of color and joy,
and a low-cost meal.”