Juan Valdez, the world famous fictional character and coffee icon from Colombia, celebrated his 50th birthday this past Saturday with a congratulatory cake from the city of Pereira which is located in the coffee growing region of the country.
Pereira, Colombia is the first city where they perform this important celebration due to the fact that the National Federation of Coffee Growers was founded in the municipality that is located just a few hours south of Medellin. The celebration will continue touring several cities around Colombia and considering the importance of this icon of coffee, should be applauded and celebrated nationwide.
Ruben Ramirez, president of the Committee of Coffee Growers of Risaralda, said he is proud of the Colombian history that the image of Juan Valdez, who was born in a New York City advertising agency in 1960, has managed to cross borders and is the representation of the efforts of the 560 thousand families, which are part of the Federation and living the coffee culture in Colombia.
The celebration was attended by local and departmental authorities. Israel Londoño, the mayor of Pereira, stated that coffee represents an employment opportunity for people who are unemployed.”We hope to recruit and hire more than 25,000 collectors in the area”.
During the celebration, a video was shown that was created especially for this anniversary highlighting the most important historical moments that Juan Valdez including the time Carlos Sanchez, the former Juan Valdez handed over the reins to his successor Carlos Castaneda, who gives life to the peasant now recognized the world over.
The tour of the 50 years of Juan Valdez in Manizales continues on Monday and Tuesday and will be in Armenia, Colombia next.
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