Last month, a handful of people from the JJ Bean team travelled to Guatemala to build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Here are some images from the trip, as well as some personal thoughts from each member of the team.
"This March I had the wonderful opportunity to head off to Guatemala with Habitat for Humanity along with 3 other JJ Bean Employees. It was an experience you can't express with words. I met some amazing families that we had the pleasure to build for and get to know. I also made some great friends that I will forever remember. A trip like this leaves you feeling blessed both to have been able to help people in need as well as realizing how much easier you have it back home. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and to everyone that made it possible for us to get there."
- Katie Prentice, Manager, JJ Bean at Park & Tilford
"When I first began working with JJ Bean I heard about some of the previous Habitat for Humanity trips that staff had been involved with, so when the opportunity came for me to be a part of this trip to Guatemala I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed one bit; despite the hard work and hot weather the entire experience was a lot of fun. Everyone who was involved was a blast to work with and get to know during these two weeks. Spending my time helping out with this build was very rewarding and I definitely look forward to the possibility of participating in another such adventure in the future!"
- Jesse Lawrence, Manager, JJ Bean on Granville Island
"This March I had the opportunity to go to Guatemala and participate in a Habitat for Humanity build with JJ Bean. I’m proud to work for a company that encourages its employees to give back to coffee producing countries, even in small ways of shovelling gravel and mixing cement. I feel blessed from being able to have shared this experience with the people I work with, as well as meet people from across the country, who are all willing to give of themselves, and their time. Being in a majority world country and interacting with the people that live there has been a good reminder of what is important in life and has given me many great memories."
- Carla Froese, JJ Bean's Roastery Production Leader
"The Guatemala build in Puerto Barrios was my 4th Habitat build. Puerto Barrios was not the prettiest of towns and the early rainy season made the build very difficult but the people made this build very special. From the families we were building for who made us lunch (tortillas with black beans in the center and spicy salsa) several times; to the masons (particularily Santos) who shared glimpses of his life with me; to the 26 people we built with who gave up two weeks of their lives to give back to those less fortunate – I came away enriched, more aware of the connectedness that all people share and more appreciative of how blessed my life is in Vancouver."
- John Neate (JJ), Owner of JJ Bean Coffee Roasters