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Visita Na Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza

Prezados Marcos, Sílvia e equipe,

Gostaria de agradecer a oportunidade de realizar a visita na Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza e conhecer o trabalho com o café bob-o-link (especialmente com o trabalho realizado com pequenos produtores).

Fui sem dúvida uma experiência única, onde foi possível verificar na prática os conceitos (muito falados e pouco executados!) de sustentabilidade econômica-social-ambiental.

Da minha parte vocês ganharam mais alguns admiradores e divulgadores desse trabalho incrível.

Fico ainda mais feliz de verificar como a equipe trabalha de maneira afinada e com objetivos comuns: agradeço a Tatiana (sempre atenciosa nos e-mail e telefone), Simone e Lauro.

Não posso deixar de agradecer ainda pela hospitalidade... nos sentimos em casa.

Abaixo segue os nomes, e-mails, local de trabalho e telefones dos técnicos que estiveram realizando a visita na última sexta-feira:

Eng. Agr. Carlos Takeschi Okido
Casa da Agricultura de Águas de Lindóia
ca.aguasdelindoia@cati.sp.gov.br
(19) 38243116 .

Eng. Agr. Ricardo Moncorvo Tonet
Casa da Agricultura de Amparo
ricardotonet@cati.sp.gov.br
(19) 38073690.

Eng. Agr. Luis Fernando Aguiar
Casa da Agricultura de Monte Alegre do Sul
ca.montealegredosul@cati.sp.gov.br
(19) 38991316.

Eng. Agr. Rodrigo da Silva Binoti
Casa da Agricultura de Socorro
ca.socorro@cati.sp.gov.br
(19) 38553178.

Téc. Agrop. Alexandre Moreira de Souza
Casa da Agricultura de Socorro
ca.socorro@cati.sp.gov.br
(19) 38553178.

Um abraço,
Eng. Agr. Ricardo Moncorvo Tonet
Casa da Agricultura de Amparo
Tel:(19) 38073690
ricardotonet@cati.sp.gov.br

SCAE visit to Brazil 19th-27th July 2013

Dear Marcos/Sylvia, Filipe & Daniel,

I wish to thank you and your staff for entertaining us all so well during our visit to Brazil.

We really enjoyed the experience of staying on a farm and enjoying the ambience of your home. It was a pleasure to hear your philosophy on nature and the environment - I am sure many of us will take back the memories of the shade grown coffees, the natural environment of your cabin and the lovely food which you gave us. I rather liked the pizza oven evening , it has given me ideas, except we don´t get that many evenings here, outside, to enjoy it.

Some of us later enjoyed the Saturday afternoon with Filipe -it gave us a nice relaxing afternoon before we flew home.

The whole group have expressed how much they enjoyed the trip and are grateful for the hospitality given to us by so many people.

Unfortunately the weather was not too good to us for a lot of the time, but we were able to taste lots of great coffee and to appreciate how diverse Brazilian coffee is. We are all so used to the standard "Santos" it was an eye opener to enjoy so many different flavours in the cup.

We will all have warm memories of such enjoyable trip.

I look forward to returning to Brazil again in the future.

Best Wishes,
Colin Smith
Past President SCAE
SCAE International Relations Committee
Smith´s Coffee Co Ltd
Arabica House
Ebberns Road
Hemel Hempstead
HP3 9RD
Telephone : 01442 234239
Mobile : 07802 299054

FAF Coffees - Daniela Capuano - Marketing Agent - BSCA

FAF Coffees - Erick Beek - Explore Coffee - Holand

FAF Coffees - Tibor Hajsunck - Pasco IL Caffè - Hungary

SCAA Science Origin Trip, October 2012

Click here to view more photos

In October 2012, SCAA organized the first Coffee Science Origin Trip, which took place in Brazil. The last part of this tour included two days at Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza, to learn more abut growing practices, and the advances they are making in processing and fermentation.
I was one of 12 people on this trip, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say our stay at FAF was the most enjoyable part of the experience. Marcos and Silvia, and their two sons, were so warm and welcoming, they really made us feel at home. Out stay included a lot of wonderful surprises, including being able to plant our own companion plants in the coffee farm, named after each of us. FAF is a beautiful place, full of wonderful people, and by the end of our stay none of us wanted to leave. I'm sure we will all be back someday.

Hadassah Green, Coffee Supreme, New Zealand

The immense beauty of your farm is only matched by the uncommon generosity of your reception. I strongly believe that the best people in the world work in Coffee, and show respect for the environment in which they find themselves. You and your family are solid proof of this belief, and I wish you the fondest and warmest regards and sincerely hope to find myself spending time in this wonderful place and among its fantastic inhabitants, sooner rather than later.

Chris Kornman, Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago
SCAA Science Origin Trip

Thank you, thank you all!
There is so much more that could be said, but as I read through this historic journal of all whom have been here before, both those I know and those I am yet to meet, all my sentiments have already been written. So, from the bottom of the deep well that is my heart, I merely thank you - for everything.

Candice Madison, London
SCAA Science Origin Trip

Dear Marcos and the entire Croce family,
It has truly been an honor to visit your amazing farm and meet your beautiful family. Words alone cannot express my gratitude for your hospitality during my stay. I have been buying your coffee since 2009, and it is an honor to come visit you in Brazil.

Jeff Duggan, Portola Coffee Lab, California
SCAA Science Origin Trip

Thank you a thousand times for your passionate and admirable dedication to specialty coffee in a sustainable environment. The SCAA Science Origin group was entirely enamored by your philosophy and practices. We hope to see much more from you in the future, and thank you for all of your science, love and stewardship. Cheers, and see you soon!

Emma Bladyka, SCAA Coffee Science Manager, California
SCAA Science Origin Trip

I'd just like to say 'Thank you', but in that word is more than I can say.
If possible, I will come back someday. Come back to see the shade growing tree I planted. I hope this was a good thing I did for Brazil!

Chartree Treelertkul, Peaberry Ltd, Thailand

During Spring Break 2012, several students from the University of Illinois visited FAF to learn about organic farming. Below are a selection of papers of their experiences.

Hi Silvia!

I hope this email finds you well. I was at the big flea/antique market in Brooklyn last weekend on Sunday and I couldn't believe what I saw....AN FAF BOB-O-LINK BAG! I went running over to find out if they were selling your coffee. The girls working there said that they were selling a different coffee and they didn't know where the bag came from, of course I was very bummed to find this out.

I inquired a bit more and one of them said that they suspect they might have your coffee in their shop. They gave me the card of the shop, but I somehow misplaced the card that day.

Do you know who it might be in Brooklyn? I would love to know so I could go and have some of your yummy coffee.

Best,
Laura

Click here >>

Hello, Marcos!

I wanted to again thank you and Sylvia for your lovely hospitality in hosting the members of our group for a very informative visit on sustainability at your farm in Brazil. I learned so much and truly appreciated your generosity in allowing us to stay overnight as well as in serving us some great food!

Thank you again. My eyes have been opened to the possibilities!

Take care,
Kimberly

Dear Marcos (Silvia and Felipe)

Finally, I am back at home and at my computer and able to write you a proper thank you for a spectacular time on your magic farm. I have long heard about you from Mark and Ella and I was lucky enough to be the one who got to visit this time around. You know what? They weren't kidding. Seeing you is something special. As Mark promised and was hard to comprehend until we met you, the long road trip was well worth the time. In fact, during the travel back to the airport, the time flew by as we were filled with reflection and insight and the time to you was an unfolding of landscape and possibility. I do however feel better knowing that now that I visited, I will never fully leave as my tree will grow under your watchful eye and in the company of others. And that captures the gift you gave us. Hospitality, education in spades, more pizza than we could dream of in combinations we never dreamt existed surrounded by your friends who instantly made us feel like family. Marcos you and Silvia gave us a true mirror to think about our choices, our families and what really matters. There were many times that you were quoted as the week went on, but the favored saying was your reminder that we stop and watch the current, and then enter at the top and go with the flow as that is far easier than fighting our way across. Sage words!

Over the course of our time in Brazil our group engaged with 35 different leaders and each night we gathered together to share our reactions. By the end of the week, people had built quite a treasury of stories. I wanted to share come some of our immediate reflections...I am sure there will be more, and more actions to share as the time goes on.

As you know we use Quests to learn about the country but also to think deeply about different styles of leadership. Our visit with you enabled us to do both! As the week progressed, the quest group became quite philosophical with participants asking "Do I have the right balance in my life' "Is my definition of family large enough', "Passion, conviction, courage-I don't think about these things related to my job or the people I work with, why not?", The group remarked on how they had seen leaders from large and small organizations and how richness of resource was far from monetary (in fact the key issue for sustainability was passion!). From different walks of life, our group found the meetings deeply inspirational. During our evening reflections we observed how people saw their family's mirrored in the homes they visited-from rich and poor, there were discussions on the bus between meetings where people questioned what kind of ancestor they would want to be and how they would be seen if Leaders' Quest visited their home or office and would they be proud. Some in the group quoted a community organizer from a favela who said she responded to the needs of her family and community first and assumed that the money would follow-- very different than the approach many took in planning their own initiatives. Another theme that emerged was about being gracious and open, the group noted how warm the Brazilians were and how the best meetings were ones where the leaders and their team were authentic and willing to listen. There were lessons from farmers about patience "you can't sow and reap on the same day," as well as reminders from successful business and social sector leaders such as yourself that we must remember not to tell people what to do but to listen to what they need, to ask the right questions and respect others.

There was no question that Brazil, its accomplishments and its leadership held up a mirror for us to consider our personal potential, our view of the world and our place in it, as well as the ways that our organizations can align purpose, profit and passion. The trip also educated us about the complex world we live in and the issues facing the fabulous nation of Brazil where a diverse heritage mixes to create beautiful people who are working to build an accountable society with stronger institutions, infrastructure and a greater educational base. On a practical level, we left Brazil energized by a sense of uneven but continuing progress and momentum. Although we saw the challenges, we also saw significant advances and a resulting tone of confidence. We saw Brazil with more and more to offer the rest of the world.

So my deep thanks for your contribution to the journey for our Questors. Thank you for the walks, the talks, the coffee and the friendship.

You so kindly welcomed me in Brazil, please let me return the favor should you find yourself in New York (and watch out, you may get an application from my daughter to WOOF at your place!)

For now, with best wishes to all of your family,

Melanie

Ola Marcos,

Parabéns por este projeto seu da FAF, que é tanto além do café exótico ou café com nota 90+. É impressionante ver por exemplo neste video o Hamilton todo orgulhoso (com muita razão) do trabalho deles. Foi impressionante ver também as qualidades e os potenciais de todos os cafés deste ano. Mas sem vocês da familia Croce tudo isto nunca seria possivel.

Muito obrigado pela honra de poder participar tantos dias desta experiência única. Me sinto muito privilegiado poder aprender sobre café desta maneira.

Um dos cafés servido na feira no meu stand vai ser o Bob-O-Link.

Grande abraço

Paul

Oi Felipe,

Adorei os dias na Fazenda. Melhor experiênca do ano (pelo menos até agora). Muito obrigado pela oportunidade de pode acompanhar de perto o trabalho e desenvolvimento de vocês. Adorei de ver todas estes testes que já mostraram tanto resultado positivo.

Abracos

Paul

Dear Marcos and Silvia,

I wanted to thank you both for a truly special and memorable trip to Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza last month. I felt extraordinarily privileged to have been able to come back to stay with you both for a second time. I remember when Mark and I first came with the group of teachers two years ago that I found the experiencing enriching, insightful and relaxing. All of those feelings were confirmed again on this second visit and I hope that I will have the chance to continue to come back and visit over the years.

You welcomed the group in such a special way and made us all feel immediately relaxed after our ridiculously long bus journey. The hospitality was second to none and it was great to meet all of your local friends. Listening to you talk Marcos about your continued vision for the Fazenda and spending time with Joao was inspirational and I felt the strong connection between the work that you are doing and the work that we are doing at Leaders' Quest.

It would be great for us to continue on the discussion that I started to have with Sylvia about our next visit to Brazil with a Quest group and how we can continue to grow our relationship.

I look forward to hearing from you both and thank you again.

Best, Ella

Dear Marcos and Silvia

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a transformational stay at your beautiful home. The Quest group was greatly moved and inspired by our time with you: your courage, wisdom, creativity, generosity and love in making FAF so special. I know that we were rushed for time (I think if we had a whole week we would feel rushed...), but in the time we had you already made a profound impact on each one of us.

The Russell Reynolds team have been inspired by Brazil?s people and nature while recognising the real challenges that remain across education, inequality, infrastructure and other areas. They are also thoughtful about how to apply the ideas and insights they received to their own company ? enhancing their collaborative approach, engaging with local communities more deeply and collectively, focusing on who their clients are and the positive influence they can have on them. It was a powerful week for them.

It is such a special visit with you. I would love to do even more as we discussed. I think your idea of having hosts join us at FAF is brilliant. I know that we need at least 36 hrs there and could easily have more. I am sure that you have many thoughts also and I would love to hear these.

We will have further Quests in June (12-17) with British Airways? top leaders and September (18-23) with our diverse Open Quest group. If you are interested, I will be in touch soon on those possibilities.

In the meantime, thank you so much and let me know if there is anything we could do for FAF.

Mark

Hello Marcos!

This is Anna Volkova, from the recent trip with the University of Illinois group with Dan Anderson. I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing us with the opportunity to visit by opening your home and your livelihood to us.

I learned so much from the trip, and from the things you personally told us, and these lessons will follow me throughout my life and into my future. I have decided to live a more sustainable life based on the information and ideas I learned on the trip, and pay attention to different varieties of coffee now that I know what to look out for. I will also make sure to consume more organic foods because during our stay at FAF, I ate more at every meal than I ever normally do because it was all so delicious and I truly felt healthier and better on an organic diet.

It is such a special visit with you. I would love to do even more as we discussed. I think your idea of having hosts join us at FAF is brilliant. I know that we need at least 36 hrs there and could easily have more. I am sure that you have many thoughts also and I would love to hear these.

My parents were so impressed by my stories and pictures, and all the information on your website, that they are seriously considering making a trip to FAF as well. Please pass my message along to Sylvia and all the women of the kitchen as well...I will never forget them and appreciate everything you all did.

Once again, thank you so very much!

Best wishes, Anna

16 de Julho de 2010. João Evangelista, filho de antigo administrador da Fazenda, faz uma visita junto com a família.

Eu, Joao Evangelista de Freitas , nascido na Fazenda Fortaleza , No Dia 09 De Novembro 1940, Filho De Jose De Freitas Silva E Maria De O. Freitas , quando nesta época meu pai foi administrador aqui.

Após todos esses anos tive a felicidade e oportunidade de retornar aqui e passar algumas horas que me deixou muito feliz em poder mostrar toda esta natureza para minha familia, que foi o inicio de minha vida.

Agradeço com todo coração ao Sr. Marcos e Silvia por nos ter recebido com toda cordialidade.

Um Grande Abraco A Vcs.

Eu Amanha 17/07/2010 Terei O Prazer Em Poder Visitar A D. Odila Barretto Que Foi Que Me Batizou Juntamente Com Seu Marido Na Epoca O Sr.Paulo Teotinfo Dias

Gratos

Joao Evangelista De Freitas

Eu, Joao Vitor Freitas Munhoz , Tive O Maior Prazer De Vir Vistar Onde Meu Avo Nasceu , Gostei Muito De Ter Ouvido As Historias Que Sr. Marcos E D. Silvia Contaram. Eu Quero Voltar Aqui Muito Em

Breve. Obrigado Por Tudo E Obrigado Pela Compreensao . Grato.

Joao Vitor Freitas Munhoz

Eu, Denise Freitas, Estou Encantada Com Tanta Beleza , Harmonia , Paz , Saude , Natureza , Preservacao Ambiental . Desejo Muito Voltar Com Minha Familia Em Breve . Foi Um Imenso Prazer Conhece-Los E Saber Que De Alguma Forma Faco Parte Desta Historia . Parabens Pelo Belo E Competente Trabalho Que Estao Realizando Nesta Fazenda .

Que Deus Possa Ilumina-Los Sempre Com Muita Paz , Amor E Estrategias Para Concretizarem Seus Projetos . Muitas Felicidades.

Denise Freitas

Marcos,

I simply wanted to put into words what our visit to your farm has meant to me. The time spent on your farm did more than give me a better appreciation for coffee growing standards, it rejuvenated my soul in what is the coffee industry. With your farm as our final stopping point along our journey, our group had already seen the very nature of the commercialized growing processes that seek to manufacture volumes of coffee versus quality of coffee. FAF, however was completely the opposite of that. It was a reversion back to simpler times, quieter times, and times where people sought to let nature control herself instead of humans controlling nature. The beauty of a coffee shrub that bends like it is supposed to and the knowledge that there is nothing unbeneficial going into those plants under the shade-grown canopies... Well, I consider that priceless, and I consider you one of the most visionary men on the planet towards this movement. The work you are doing of building community and a better tomorrow is to be commended, and I will forever cherish this first of many visits to your farm! Thank you for introducing us to all the families we met, too, as those smiling faces and warm embraces of the people...well, quite honestly, that is why I love this industry and do what I do!

All the best!

Troy Lucas
Lucas Roasting Company LLC

www.lucasroasting.com

Marcos,

I arrived home safely today. I just wanted to thank you for your hospitality
at your farm. I also want to let you know that is not often you meet someone like yourself in life. When I started Bodhi Leaf Trading Company I had a vision of a company that would approach business by making relationships and hopefully spread some sort of compassion and hope in this world, but I was not sure how to do it.

You have given me inspiration and passion to approach the coffee business in ways I have only dreamed of. I am looking forward to sharing your vision with others and working by your side. I will never forget the kindness and peace I felt during my stay at your farm. You are truly someone I admire and I look forward to making a difference in the coffee industry and in this world with you. Thanks again and I am sure I will talk with you soon. In the meantime, be well.

Steve Sims
Bodhi Leaf Trading Company

Hi mom and Nessa,

If you could forward this to dad I’m not sure what e-mail I should use of his. Brazil is the most beautiful place ever. I am staying in a utopia; it looks a lot like the Cayman Islands actually. Everyone is about to go horseback riding so i am staying back and get some time to myself. We had a lot of travelling yesterday but seeing everything is awesome. There are a lot of hills which is cool. Everyone is staying in one cabin with a few different rooms, mine is with Rita which is awesome. Also, everyone is getting along so that's really nice.

I hope everything is going well for you guys. I’m eating homemade bread with homemade butter and jam with homemade coffee and milked milk, so I’m soooooooooooooo happy.

Much love, I’m not leaving here.

Charlotte

Hello Marcos and Silvia,

We are getting settled back at home. Missing the farm, our trip was wonderful. More than we could have ever imagined. It was like a dream at the farm. It already feels like another home to us. All of the staff made us feel so welcome, just like family. We all felt so comfortable there. It was beautiful. The food was wonderful. Most of all it was the people. Meeting the farmers of Bob-o-link, the women of Cafe Igarai and all of the people who work on the farm. It definitely changed the way the kids and I look and our lives and our business. And all that you taught us about coffee, nature and the environment. We are so much better for everything we learned. The education was priceless. We can never thank you enough except to carry your message on to our customers and anyone else who is willing to listen.

We have already put the Cafe Igarai merchandise on display. It is awaiting some finishing touches. We are placing our first order for Bob-o-link coffee from Theta Ridge today. We are looking forward to launching to entire package as soon as possible. I have been trying to call Silvia, but I think I may have the number wrong because I have not been getting through. Silvia, Can you give me a call sometime soon so we can do some planning and catch up. I miss you!!!!

Hope all is well. Can't wait to see you guys.

Carol Harris
Casteel Coffee Evanston, Illinois

Hey Felipe,

This is Dave, we met a couple months back in South Carolina for the roaster's retreat.

We've really been enjoying a microlot coffee from your farm this season. Its a pulp natural Red Catuai from the Silvio and Celso families. Anyway, I've decided to compete with it this year at the USBC next week in Anaheim, and I was wondering if you could pass on any information you happen to know about it.

Also, I know you're in Portugal, but i'd love it if you'd consider watching the performance at usbaristachamionship.org. I go a week from Thursday at 10:30am Pacific Time.

Anyway man, i'd love to hear from you, hope you're doing well.

Dave Delchamps (1000 Faces Coffee)

United States Barista Competition

Hello from St. Louis, MO! I'm Joe Marrocco, roaster/barista/barista trainer from Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Company. I was just wanting to touch base with you all and let you know that I am going to be using the Hamilton/Celso Coffee in this year's USBC. It is so balanced, rich and delicious, I can work with no other. Also, having worked side by side with Felipe Croce, I am so excited to promote what you all are doing in Sao Paolo and for Specialty Coffee. Your holistic aproach is inspiring, and I hope to be able to inspire others in a few weeks. Thanks for your commitment to quality and all of your hard work. We see it.
Yours,

Joe Marrocco

Turma UNESP
Visita FAF em 21 e 22 de março de 2010

Joe Marrocco

"Achei interessante e gratificante poder ver na prática um modelo de sustentabilidade".

Gabriela Aparecida Pereira

"É marcante o ponto que a FAF estabelece um elo sólido entre o trabalho, o trabalhador e a natureza".

Allan Cellin da Silva

"É muito bom sentirmos de perto a mudança ocorrendo em cada um de nós".

Nádia Horiye Ferreira

"Uma experiência única e gratificante que pode ser vista para solucionarmos os problemas de forma harmônica entre a natureza e o homem".

Gabriel Godoy Gimeno

"A iniciativa de produção sustentável da FAF é um grande passo para ajudar o planeta ter um futuro melhor".

Camila Vaz de Souza

Marcos,

When I think back about the time we spent with you all, I am overwhelmed with feelings. The energy at FAF is so healthy and beautiful! It's the reason I wanted to bring my family back to experience what I felt when I was there 4 years ago. You and Silvia are the most generous and gracious hosts!

You have created an environment that is abundant and nourishing for the spirit of all. I have already written to Silvia that my kids rated FAF a number 10 on a 1-10 scale of family vacations we have taken. And, as you might imagine, my kids have been on some pretty great trips. I was delighted to see how quickly they recognized what is special about you and Silvia and the mission of Fortaleza. Yes, we are Bob-o-links for life! Already thinking of the next group to bring into the mix.

Lots of love to all of you from us,

Miriam Glabman (Highland Park)

Dear Sylvia and Marcos and family,

It is we who are honored and grateful for the opportunity to meet your family, get to know you, and spend time at your wonderful home. You have opened the door to knowledge and lifestyle that will last a lifetime. My grandfather always spoke of the importance of a farmer planting a seed, even if he never saw the crop harvested by himself, and you have dropped a pebble in the pool with ripples and waves that will wash a far shore. I can no longer drink a cup of American coffee without thinking of burnt rubber, or eat vegetables without thinking of Montsanto, or walk without asking where is the pond or waterfall. We again thank you for a wonderful trip.

Richard Glabman (Highland Park, II)

"After a mountain bike ride up around Alpine Lake Carol and I were putting our bikes back on the car and a guy came over an asked us if we liked coffee. He was selling coffee he has roasted that morning. He was very excited by the beans he had just gotten from "FAF", a coffee plantation in Brazil. We bought a bag and waited a day as he instructed. Freshly ground and put through the drip maker the coffee has a naturally sweet aroma. The taste medium and very smooth without even a hint of bitterness. It's both nutty and sweet. I have no idea how to get more of it. We always park there but I have never seen the guy before. "

Posted by John Berg on his blog
September 9, 2009

Click here to view
photo album
"This place is inspirational. You have sincerity with everything you do here and it is certainly infectious. I had a wonderful 3 days here. I learned quite a lot about your approach to sustainability and it was a great opportunity to meet with your producer partners who are doing amazing work. I look forward to joining in partnership and hope to visit again soon."

Regards,

Paul Aeshos. Mecca. Sydney, Australia

"Thank you for a beautiful stay! I'm happy to have the opportunity to get to know such warm ad generous people better."

Best,

Jamin Haddox. Minneapolis, MN, USA

"Your passion is contagious! It was a real treat to spend time with the people you have touched. I wish you much success."

Cheers,

Mike McKim. Texas, USA

"This is a place of life. The peace and ease of being here has made this one of the best coffee trips ever. We are excited to work with you to help find the coffees and the partners to make this prosper."

Until next year,

Tim Chapdelaine. Minneapolis, MN, USA

Dearest Marcos and Silvia,

Click here to view
photo album

I wanted to email you and forward, again, my gratitude for our recent visit. The Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza's goal is one that I share with you.

Having now had time to reflect on my time on the Quest, it is within your home and business that I find the most inspiration. Having now returned to Manchester, and looking towards my return home to Cumbria, I find is poigniant that the UK do not share the hospitality and warmth that I felt on your farm. It's something that I also believe needs to change!

My students will study Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza's goal and I will send you copies of their work, photographs etc if you would like. They will also share the phographs that were taken on our visit, even of me break-dancing with Jonathan! We will create an army of holistic individuals who are at one with nature and I will try everything in my power to get my students to you!

I hope I find you well and again, thank you for your hospitality and warmth.

Kind regards, as always

MICHELLE

Dear Silvia, Dear Marcos,

We live in a time of radical transformation, and these signs of change are all around us, albeit few seem able or willing to stop, reflect, and listen to the signals. Perhaps this is because it's difficult to see ahead, perhaps humanity is looking for an answer, an example, or model; an alternative to "business as usual".

At Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza, you live your vision, and through your love of the land and each other provide hope and leadership to a world struggling to adapt to the urgent challenges it is facing. Spending four days with you was inspiring, an organic retreat which I look forward to repeating, and sharing, with many others.

A special note on the FAF shade grown organic coffee we now have the pleasure of serving at Open World Café Stockholm; what a great way to start a dialogue about sustainability!

Thank you!

CHRISTER SÖDERBERG
Director, Zero Aeons AB

Dear Silvia and Marcos,

Click here to view
photo album

"There is a celtic saying that heaven and earth are only three feet a part-but in the "thin places" the distance becomes even smaller. A thin place is where the veil that separates the sacred from the pedestrian is so thin that one is able to catch a glimpse of the mystery beyond. A thin place is anywhere our hearts are more open to the "more"-when we feel the distance we often put between us and the Divine evaporating."

Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza is such a place. A perfect environment and opportunity to immerse yourself in natural beauty, abundance, consciousness and the “mystery beyond”. Silvia, Marcos and the entire staff at the farm have created an atmosphere that is ideal for exploring, learning, gaining greater insight and understanding of environmental sustainability, a variety of outdoor activities, daily yoga, simple comfort and unbelievable meals!

Bring your family, friends, and meet new friends(there is always someone new and interesting popping in at the farm to say hi and share laughter, stories and ideas). Immerse yourself in the energy of the farm and expect to be inspired by people who have connected with their passion and are working mindfully and deliberately to make a great contribution.

NANCY WATTS
www.inspiredviews.com

Photographer and Life Coach

Dear Silvia and Marcos,

Being on the farm was a blast! I had so much fun being there and doing things that I do not normally get to do on a normal day in Deerfield. The farm gave me new perspectives on things that I now transfer into my daily life here in Chicago. It allowed me to try many new things that I ended up liking more then I would have expected. For example, horseback riding was something that I always thought was in a way, more of a girl activity that I wouldn?t enjoy as much. I was completely wrong. When Rita took us out that first time it showed me that horseback riding was actually very relaxing and enjoyable (it helps when your in the mountains of Brazil as well).

Also, one of my personal favorite parts of the trip was how good the food was. The salad was unbelievably fresh and tasty and the mixture of rice and beans and whatever else was always very delicious. The bananas were amazing. They are definitely not the same in the states. Eating fresh and organic meals all day really showed me how bad food here in America really is. All the fast food joints are terrible for you and I now try to stay away from them as much as possible. The farm taught me so much about organic food and how much more healthy it is for you. You don?t realize what goes into growing the food that you?re eating until you see and hear about how it is done on non-organic farms. Organic farms are much safer and better for everything and people need to realize that.

I also cannot say thank you enough for working so hard to get tickets for the soccer game. I loved it! And, I was glad Sao Paulo won.

So thanks again for having me and my family to the farm for such an amazing spring break.

MACK WATTS
17, April 2009

Sil e Marcos, queridos primos,

Acabando de chegar de nove dias na FAF, não posso deixar de registrar a alegria minha e de toda a família com o que vocês nos proporcionaram, além de uma riquíssima e harmoniosa convivência .

Ao conhecer mais um pouco do que vocês vêm fazendo ?E dá pra imaginar as dificuldades? de um lado para preservar aquele inestimável patrimônio familiar e cultural e de outro para buscar um novo modelo de produção sustentável, me confesso orgulhoso de vocês e cada vez mais impressionado.

Posso imaginar o enorme desafio e mesmo risco de se tentar - indo na direção oposta ao modelo vigente de agronegócio fundado no uso intensivo de recursos naturais finitos, de insumos sintéticos e exclusão social - construírem juntos uma nova maneira de promover o desenvolvimento rural sustentável em seu verdadeiro sentido. Um ?rural? que muito mais que ?agrícola? representa a possibilidade concreta de produzir de forma sustentável (Agricultura Natural), ao tempo em que promove responsabilidade social (Projeto das Bordadeiras) e cultural (Turismo Rural). E isso com retorno econômico, que é o que haverá de ocorrer à medida que os preços começarem a refletir os enormes passivos ambientais e sociais de nosso atual modelo de desenvolvimento.

O que desejamos à você dois é que não desistam. Sigam em frente, nem que para isso seja necessário, de quando em vez, fazer algumas concessões e usar a força de quem querem ver transformado.

Um beijo grande, meu eterno reconhecimento e o obrigado de toda a família.

ZÉ CARLOS

Dear Marcos & Silvia,

"Thank you for allowing me to experience and learn your ways. I will bring back these experiences home with me and teach and live.

Thank you and bless you all."

BOB VASELESKI
Dunn Brothers Coffee – Master Roaster

Dear Marcos & Silvia,

"This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Such a commitment to the earth and the happiness of the people. I have truly enjoyed the education that I have received here and I hope I can return and bring my family and friends. I congratulate you and your passion toward to action and applaud your commitment to the earth. Best regards and good luck."

ANDREW MILLER
Café Imports - December 2007

Dear FAF,

FAF is an incredible place! I organized a “Raw Food Lifestyle” retreat in March and I came back home completely rejuvenated and even more committed to organic and sustainable farming. There was an abundance of exotic fruits and veggies growing on the farm, both wild and cultivated.

We prepared delicious meals with the FAF house chef – like Bamboo Veggie Lasagna and Baby Banana-Chocolate Torte. The nutritional value of the food grown at FAF is so much greater than anything we can access in the United States because the land there is Atlantic Rainforest and the soil is rich with minerals.

FAF is a true rejuvenation experience from massage to hiking to peaceful quiet to stargazing to sugar cane juicing! It was a truly one of a kind experience!

ARIANE GLAZER
March 2008

Dear Marcos & Silvia,

"I have rarely been treated with such hospitality as I received at this most beautiful of places. The education and experience I was given could very well have provided me a lasting influence on how I will conduct my life and make business decision in the future. I had no idea how powerful truly organic coffee production could be and how committed to learning more about this wonderful way of life.

Yours in friendship."

CHRIS EILERS
Dunn Brothers Coffee – President July 2007

Dear FAF,

My retreat at FAF was an amazing experience! FAF is a shining example for all of us of how we should be living together with nature.

The “farm” is part rainforest, fruit and vegetable heaven, rejuvenation center, adventure, and pure beauty. I loved picking the guavas growing everywhere and popping them in my mouth right from the tree. The weather was perfect and the stargazing was incredible. I loved pressing my own sugar cane juice the old-fashioned way and swimming in the beautiful lake. The nature walk in the rainforest was really the highlight of the trip – I was transported to another world – hard to believe it is part of the farm!

The staff of FAF went out of their way to make our stay the best ever! The meals were delicious (all farm-grown!) and the accommodations excellent. There were more activities to do on the farm than I could have imagined and I learned a lot. I especially enjoyed learning about their community projects like Café Igarai – the women’s co-op. Most importantly, I got to experience being part of the cutting edge of the organic, sustainable, ecological farm movement.

FAF is working to share their sustainable organic model with the world. I commend Silvia and Marcos for all their efforts to make the world a better place with FAF. I miss the farm already and can't wait to go back next year!

LINA VALLIQUETTE
March 2008

Silvia,

"You know how I feel about you – love, love, love!!!

Thank you so much for your generosity. FAF is an amazing place, and it has been the joy of all of a lifetime, to spend a week here! I can’t wait to continue our friendship back in the States and to revisit all the wonderful memories we shared here. You are an inspiration.

XOXO & Namaste"

KYLE GORDON
July 2007

Dear Marcos,

"Since I joined officially the organic school, I have met hundreds of people claiming they are changing the world. But very few times I have met entrepreneurs with the vision, spirit sensibility and also the truly sustainability principle so deeply rooted in the blood, such as you Marcos! Your role is to inspire, to nurture and offers the many people attracted to your personally the opportunity to feel what balance really means."

DAGNY TUCKER New Hope
October 2006

“This place is a poem, the way it looks, feels, sounds. How beautifully it all fits together, humans and their environment…”

ANDY AMEND on the far right
Yoga Retreat October 2005

“A garden of joy and fulfillment. Silvia’s farm is a gift to all who visit. Keep spreading the light.”

LISA GOLDMAN
Yoga Retreat October 2005

“How can I ever tell you how much this time with all of you in this beautiful place has meant to me – thank you for enriching my life”

PEGGY ORLOF on the far right
Yoga Retreat - September 2005

“…thank you for allowing me to come here, to teach the small thing that I know and learn the great and beautiful thing that you know…”

ZOE KAUFMAN on the far leff
Yoga Instructor September 2005

Caros Amigos da Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza,

"O futuro da biodiversidade dependera da implantacao de unidades de conservacao como a Area de Relevante Interesse Ecologico (ARIE) como a que esta nascendo aqui."

Dr.PAULO NOGUEIRA NETO
January 2005

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