I often say I'm the luckiest guy on the planet. After years of struggling, I'm doing what I love and in a small way, helping some other people to do the same. When I first met up with Gabriel and Yunuen from Xoxoc, it was from a selfish need: I wanted to get these beans into the U.S.! Importing seemed like a real drag but it's enabled both Rancho Gordo and Xoxoc to grow as businesses and it's allowed small farmers, like Maria, to continue to grow their heritage beans as they have for centuries by creating a new market here in the United States. I know Maria was suspicious of me. It's not often small farmers get the best deal, especially when dealing with fat gringos. Luckily Yunuen and Gabriel are patient and made the whole process as easy for Maria and the other farmers as possible. After the first delivery to Rancho Gordo, I told Xoxoc that Maria's beans (the Lila was one of them) had sold out and we'd need to double or triple our efforts. The greatest thing is that Maria had a grandson who was out of work and desperate and on his way to the United States. Now he's decided to stay and work with his grandmother, growing what they love on their own land, doing what they know and and do best. It's not often you get these win-win stories!