JAYUYA, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rican musician and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda joined the wife of Puerto Rico’s governor on Wednesday to announce a $5-million initiative aimed to revitalize the coffee industry in the Caribbean island.
The program aims to provide economic help over the next five years to some 3,000 coffee farmers affected in September 2017 by Hurricane Maria, which destroyed 80 percent of the crop.
Miranda announced the initiative at Jayuya’s Hacienda San Pedro accompanied by his father and Puerto Rico first lady Beatriz Rossello, as well as executives from Starbucks Coffee, Technoserve and Nespresso, along with representatives of the Hispanic Federation, the Rockefeller Foundation and World Coffee Research.
“You don’t call the ‘Avengers’ when the work is easy, but when it is hard,” Miranda said, referring to the executives and officials. “Crops were completely destroyed by the hurricane.”
Rossello thanked the award-winning author of “In the Heights” and “Hamilton” for his help in bringing together the coalition.
“What can we Puerto Ricans be more proud of if not coffee,” Miranda said, adding that he has a tattoo of a coffee cup on one leg. “It is a very important element of the Puerto Rican economy and culture.”