His name is Manuel. 71 years old. Widowed. Carpenter. Owner of a coffee lot at Roça Monte Café (Sao Tome and Principe). Land from which everything springs, without asking permission.
Manuel has a wide and broad smile, with lines of poems. He tells a unique story of a country that has forgotten how it was when it produced coffee. He still cultivates, dry, roast and grind it. But life does not wear him out.
Manuel doesn’t drop his arms. He enjoys all that the land offers him, like a blessing. A seed is wealth. A berry. A vanilla pod.
Manuel is impossible to describe in words, much less in photographs. It misses the wet weather that sticks to the skin. It lacks the smell of wet earth and freshly fried plantain. It absents the sound of children screaming out there lack. Above all, it lacks Manuel’s permanent laugh.
Manuel is one of the few people producing coffee in São Tomé and Príncipe.
[watch video below]