PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A Peoria cafe gives back to its employees in a unique way.
Café Santa Rosa in Junction City sources its coffee beans from its own coffee farm in rural Colombia. At the end of October, the café held its annual health clinic for its farmers.
“If you work on the farm, in the rural areas, nobody has health insurance so…they go to the doctor when they are extremely sick. They believe in natural teas, in remedies, so health insurance in my country is non-existent for the majority of the population,” said owner Marta Vidal.
Vidal said he provided the services of a dentist, dental hygienist, doctor and chiropractor to the farmers and their families. They provided health and dental services to nearly 80 people at $40 per person.
“We believe it is our social responsibility to lend a hand, to help bridge the gap between the rich and healthy versus the poor and unhealthy,” she said.
Vidal said the average salary in Colombia is only $200 a month. If each farmer sought these services on their own, their outlay would be $160, and that’s if they could even find a doctor.
“Even if we pay decent wages, they won’t be able to afford a doctor. They won’t even be able to go to town to find a doctor because it’s a rural area. In rural areas, there are no hospitals, no clinics, no quick care, nothing,” she said.
Vidal said they have been hosting health clinics for almost 10 years and there has been a marked improvement in the health and life prospects of their farmers.
“It’s a great feeling, and I’m so grateful that we have the support of all Peorians to provide our farmers…and we’re making a difference in their lives,” she said.
Ten percent of Café Santa Rosa’s sales go directly to the Colombian farm.
On November 26, Café Santa Rosa welcomes ‘Salsa at the Junction’, a salsa class taught by Abraham Ghantous, of Fit/Dance 309, followed by an evening of drinks and dancing.