Today we started out with a hearty breakfast of bread and an omelette. Then we headed back to the hostel to have our global business seminar. We started out with the question of: How should a government be involved with growth and management of business within their borders, if at all? The question opened up a lot of problems for us, and these were made especially clear when we had a chance to talk with Tio Antonio. We had the opportunity to learn about Fair Trade basics, which included the regulations that must be followed in order for a certain group of people to be considered a part of the Fair Trade organization. It is an organizaton that creates a stable price so those who grow the crops recieve enough money to live a happy and healthy life.
In the morning we took a stroll around town to the local panadería where we saw what a local business looked like, then we headed out to Pan de Vida a bakery owned by someone who wasn`t local to Granada. We were able to ask a ton of questions and learned a ton about how he organized his business. The owner’s name was Julio, and he told us all about his goals for his bakery, he wanted to provide a healthy substitute for the types of bread normally found in Granada, to show the locals the importance of nutrition in their diet. Another goal of his was to find all of his supplies locally, and to support small farms rather than rely on big suppliers. He was incredibly resourceful and very kind and I´m so glad we had the chance to meet him.
Later on in the day we were able to visit an incredibly inspiring person who also had an amazing story to tell, his name was Tio Antonio. He moved to Granada from Spain around 9 years ago, with the goal of opening a restaurant. This all changed when the first person he met was deaf. He realized that here, finding jobs for people with disabilities was nearly impossible and that something had to be done about it. He went around to almost all of the shops in Granada and put in applications for two possible workers that were deaf, but there was no response. So he decided to create a new business, one that would support these people and give them the ability to make a living. He opened a hammock shop, which creates some of the best hammocks in the world (one was given to the Pope!), which eventually led him to open a café called Café de las Sonrisas. A café led entirely by workers who are deaf, this place gave them an opportunity to work and feel comfortable at the same time in the workplace.While we were enjoying a delicious lunch at the cafe, we had the opportunity to feel how the workers feel all day, every day. They gave us earplugs, we couldn´t hear anything. Now imagine not being able to hear anything, not the wind going through the trees, the laughing of your friends, that cute little bird on that branch. It made us truly understand what these people were going through, which gave me a new found appreciation for all that I have. It was definitely a moving experience.
And for Marijke’s dad, she wishes you a happy birthday and hopes you had a wonderful day!