Julia Alvarez has bridged the Americas many times. Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic, she is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist, author of world-renowned books in each of the genres, including How the Garca Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, and Something to Declare. She is the recipient of a 2013 National Medal of Arts. She lives on a farmstead outside Middlebury, Vermont, with her husband Bill Eichner. Visit Julia’s Web site www.alvarezjulia.com to find out more about her writing.
Julia and Bill own an organic coffee farm called Alta Gracia in her native country of the Dominican Republic. Their specialty coffee is grown high in the mountains on what was once depleted pastureland. Not only do they grow coffee at Alta Gracia, but they also work to bring social, environmental, spiritual, and political change for the families who work on their farm. They use the traditional methods of shad-grown coffee farming in order to protect the environment, they pay their farmers a fair and living wage, and they have a school on their farm where children and adults learn to read and write. For more information about Alta Gracia, visit www.cafealtagracia.com.