Oct 27, 2006

Starbucks Exploits Migrant Workers! [LINK]

From "Help Restore a Costa Rican Rainforest," a pamphlet produced by the Earthwatch Institute and Starbucks Coffee, in whose retail stores it is distributed:

Earthwatch Institute shares Starbucks [sic] commitment to help preserve our earth's precious natural resources and believes the best way to do this is to directly involve people from various backgrounds, including scientists, educators, businesses, and the general public in global field research. By placing people in the field to actively participate and assist scientists in their work, Earthwatch Institute is promoting sustainable conservation of our natural resources and cultural heritage....

The year 2006 marks the third year Starbucks has extended this excursion to customers, and the results have been highly successful. From clearing weed, digging dirt and planting trees to celebrating with local families, customers have had the opportunity to contribute positively to the environment while learning about another culture and making new friends. We're excited by what we've accomplished but there is more work to be done, so Starbucks is committed to continue supporting this worthwhile conservation effort....

These expeditions offer an unequaled opportunity for personal enrichment. If selected, you'll work closely with scientists and a local cooperative of farmers to conduct a pioneering forest restoration experiment. Based out of Agua Buena, Costa Rica, where less than 10 percent of the original forest remains, teams will plant trees in experimental plots, measure seedlings, work on seed predation and monitor birds to help determine the success of the ongoing restoration effort.

As an active member of the research team, you'll provide hands-on assistance and gather scientific data and evidence to stop a critical environmental problem. You'll challenge yourself -- body, mind and spirit -- for science and conservation, living as field researchers live, eating what field researchers eat, and working like field researchers work.

You'll experience the scientists' enthusiasm and passion for their subject, and share in the team's accomplishments. The fact that you'll be doing physically demanding work on steep slopes will make the experience more relevant.

The only special skills or experience needed for this physically challenging expedition are a passion for the environment and the desire to learn and work hard with others.

If you should happen to be interested in participating and want to know what sort of people you'll share the experience with, Starbucks has helpfully posted a letter of feedback from Rebecca Galvez, one of the 2006 participants. An excerpt:
Finally, I want Starbucks and Earthwatch to know that from this experience, I have learned that creating a more sustainable life is the only way to truly respect oneself and in turn, outwardly respect our environment. I have always been one to watch the effects of modern ways by recycling and re-using whenever possible. However, my experience in Costa Rica, talking with my homestay family, coffee farmers and the Starbucks agroecologists, I have learned that the effort to make the world more environment friendly is a concerted group effort. Humans are truly no different than other animals on this Earth. Each much strive to do its part to preserve its species and aid other species to be the caretakers of our planet.
Say whaaaa?

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