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January 24, 2018


Last year I walked into a new hip coffee shop in State College called the Barranquero Café and noticed photos and paintings of a long-tailed bird I recognized as the blue-crowned mot mot – an insect catching bird I’d seen in the Birds of Peru book I’d been perusing with some Amazonian artisans.

It was great to meet the Barranquero’s owner Susan Jermusyk and learn that she gave her shop the local name for this beautiful bird that frequents the Colombian highlands where her coffee comes from. Beyond inviting us to sell a variety of our crafts in the café two times last year, we agreed to commission our talented artisan partners in Peru to weave a model of this bird she could sell in her café year-round. \

On my next trip south, I gave photos of the bird to artisans from the village of San Francisco on the Marañon River, and six months later four artisans showed me their prototypes. Susan thought they were good, but the orange breast of the Amazonian type didn’t seem quite like the bird she knew. She gave me a few photos she had taken showing the yellow breast of the Colombian variety which I shared with our Peruvian artisan friends.

I was thrilled that Susan and her staff were excited to see the newest barrranqueros – especially the expression in their eyes and black spot below the neck. We are both happy that this trans-American fair-trade collaboration can benefit local people in Peru and Colombia.

Please visit the Barranquero Café at 324 E Calder Way in downtown State College to buy one of these unique ornaments and enjoy some tasty Colombian coffee and food.

You can also find a few barranquero ornaments online at: See these and other fair-trade ornaments and crafts for sale at our online Amazon Forest Store at:

Learn more about the blue-crowned mot mot (Momotus coeruliceps) and hear its call at:

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