The Route to my Roots
I have mentioned and discussed many things that have had to do with Colombia, pictures of beautiful mountains and well, coffee. For those of you who know me, you may very well know why I am always talking about this magnificent country.
Yo soy Colombiana. My family roots start in Colombia. Mis abuelitos are Colombian. My parents are Colombian. I feel lucky to say that I, too am Colombian along with my brothers (we have dual citizenship). My brothers and I feel proud to say that we have Colombian blood running through our veins, too. Although we were born in New Jersey, USA, we are grateful to have been raised with both cultures.
My parents who moved to the states and got married at the age of 22, have been the most positive example for us to prosper in our lives. The stories mi mama y mi papa would tell us about their lives when they first came to North America are incredibly motivating. Everyone tells them they should write a book about it so, stay tuned. Despite having come to North America at such a young age in search of the American Dream, they stayed true to their roots and will never forget where they came from.
Being Colombian-American has allowed me to enjoy the best of both worlds. Ever since my brothers and myself were born, we have traveled to Colombia at least once every year, which is pretty sweet. I am privileged to have been raised speaking both English and Spanish. My dad had a rule while we were growing up: "No English is allowed once we have crossed the entrance of our home, only Spanish. In school and outside the house we speak English. At home, we speak Spanish." This rule helped us practice and perfect both languages, which I am so thankful for (although at the time my brothers and I hated it and would whisper to each other in English so my dad wouldn't hear).
In addition to the language, my parents also engraved in us the importance of family and togetherness, which comes with the Colombian culture. We start and end with family, my dad would say. We visit family (meet family we've never met before almost every time), attend family gatherings, reunions, parties, etc. Latino families are huge! You have your 3rd cousin, 4th cousin, mother's aunts and uncles who we end up calling our aunts and uncles, great grandparents, grandparents and their cousins, and well the list continues but everyone is treated like family (the way it should be) regardless if we just met or not. Everybody embraces everybody even if you don't know them. It's weird but it's awesome and it has allowed me to grow into the family oriented person I am today.
All of this, the story of my family and where we come from, the visits to and from Colombia, and speaking both languages, has lead me on a route of growing a passion for family tradition through specialty coffee.
During one of my trips to Colombia, which I have mentioned in another blog post titled "A Growing Passion," was the beginning of an adventure to discovering a new world for myself and continuing on a path established by my family keeping the tradition alive. I am the next generation in the Bedoya family who feels passionate about growing the specialty coffee business and keeping our dreams alive.
It is all finally coming together. Right now, I am in Armenia, Quindio, Colombian sitting in Café Jesús Martín, writing this blog post, and enjoying a delicious iced Americano. I am here dreaming, discovering, anticipating, establishing, learning, and gathering MAS information, MAS ideas, and filling myself with MAS knowledge about coffee, people, and business in order to create something that not only will be successful, but also will be loved and will continue to grow in future generations.
It has not been easy. It is something I work for every day. Although I am a barista making minimum wage plus tips, I am a dreamer and every day I am working towards the opening of M.A.S. Café. Every day I look forward to meeting all of you, serving you the best of the best, and enjoying a life of work, love, and sharing coffee with family and friends.