Gabriella N. Baez

Documentary Photographer
     
En los cafetales
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nationality: Puerto Rican
Biography: Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico Gabriella (she/they) is a queer documentary photographer based in San Juan, Puerto Rico covering stories across the Caribbean region. Her personal projects focus on intimate topics about family, mental health,... read on
Coffee, an essential part of the morning routine for most Puerto Ricans, pases by many hands before it reaches ours. For us to taste it and smell its aroma, the coffee needs to be planted, cultivated, picked and later sent to be toasted and pulverized. This process can only be done with the working hands of the agricultural industry of the island. As coffee is produced in high altitudes and low temperatures, rural communities of the mountain often take on this job.

Work on the plantations is not a fixed or secure job. Because workers are not paid hourly, their salary depends on the amounts of almuds workers fill. During low seasons or if the crops have been affected because of a natural disasters, workers struggle to survive. Hurricane María devastated the agricultural industry of the island. Many farms had to start from scratch to get back on their feet after the disaster. Even though it's been over a year since María, workers have lifted up the agricultural industry in order to get coffee to our tables.

This story was produced during the Puerto Rico 2018 National Geographic Photo Camp with the photographers Iván Valencia, Luján Agusti, and Dominic Bracco II. 
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