Haworth & Machu Picchu twinned in fair trade
Thursday, 5 September 2019 | Joanna
Haworth Machu Picchu Twinning
The Old School Room in Haworth was bedecked with red and white Peruvian flags, flying next to the blue and white rose flag of Yorkshire. The Peruvian Ambassador and his wife rubbed shoulders with the CEO of Café Direct John Steel, Fairtrade Towns champion Bruce Crowther and celebrated Peruvian chef Martin Morales. The Bronte sisters – whose parsonage home loomed over us, and whose father built the school room - would have been astonished.
The campaign to twin small Yorkshire village Haworth with Machu Picchu started many years ago when Rita Verity, owner of longstanding BAFTS member Sonia’s Smile, visited the Peruvian citadel high in the Andes. The similarities between the community at the foot of the World Heritage Site were striking to Rita – they have similar sized populations of around 8,000 and each is reached by train, both have tourist dependent economies. But this was to be no ordinary town twinning. Instead of being an excuse for dignitaries to sip champagne in each other’s town halls, this twinning arrangement would be based on fair trade principles and connections between people: learning each other’s language, supporting school children, and connecting the people who make the goods produced in Peru and the people who sell them in the UK. After two visits to Peru and conversations with the mayor of the small town, the first twinning arrangement was confirmed ten years ago. This weekend was all about celebrating the twinning, reconfirming it and deepening the connection in the light of the 200th anniversary celebrations of Peruvian independence in 2001.
Peruvian Ambassador, Juan Carlos Gamarra
Café Direct’s Machu Picchu coffee is grown on around a dozen farms in the vicinity of the village, and they were delighted to produce a special blend to celebrate the link. Martin Morales gave a demo of his recipe for sea bass ceviche (which was delicious) and encouraged us to support the charity Amantani which supports indigenous Quechua children’s rights and education. There were alpacas for petting and a cake.
Speaking of cake, former Bake Off candidate Sandy Docherty, who lives in the area, came along and supported the event. The highlight of the Friday evening was a live link to Machu Picchu’s town hall where we watched the mayor sign his side of the declaration, with the deputy mayor of Bradford and David Mahon, Chair of Haworth Parish Council simultaneously signing Haworth’s own side. David Mahon was invited to visit Machu Picchu to collect the specially minted mayoral chain set with special Andean stones having been a staunch supporter of the twinning from the start.
Anglo - Peruvian chef Martin Morales
Fair trade is all about connecting people and the strong connection between Haworth and Machu Picchu shows that town twinning can be used to build long lasting links around the world, honouring the people who make and grow the goods we love, and celebrating our common humanity.