Coffeebeans Routes, gold winner in the category Best for Engaging People and Culture in the African Responsible Tourism Awards, is a cultural tour operator that provides collections of stories. “When it comes to stories, we are the most equal, but they also provide ground to turn the tables on traditional assumptions – Coffeebeans Routes is the connection between disempowered communities that are excited to share their stories, and international and local travellers hungry for narratives”, Iain Harris, Founder and Creative Director, tells us when we met him at CR Headquarters, home to Cape Town Creative Emporium.
“Why do I believe what I do makes a difference to the world? I get to hear stories that open my world in amazing ways, I feel very privileged to have this access. There is a financial benefit to it, as Coffebeans Routes offers a formalized structure with remuneration for the storytellers that values stories above everything else. There is a cultural element to it too; coming out of an economy of silence, the audience is interested, and has warm welcoming ears to stories in an environment where people are not usually listened to. What comes out of it is not only a financial benefit for the story tellers, but great affirmation, and this is shown by the terrific response we get from them [story tellers].”
“There is no sustainability without social justice. No matter what green interventions we put in place, they will not work unless society becomes socially and culturally equal. The starting point is asking yourself “How do we treat each other?”. This is also an angle that makes you see things differently, why people act the way they do. If your work is geared towards challenging and undoing inequalities through your business ethos, then you’re at a good point. After that we can look at practical interventions, like recycling and reducing. They can happen in parallel, but the one can’t happen without the other. “
Coffeebeans Routes has teamed up with Africa is a Country to present a concert series in Cape Town on the last Thursday of every month, kicking off on June 25th 2015 with Loit Sols & Churchill Naude. If you are not in the area, tune in to Africa is a Country where concerts will be live streamed. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover some of the most precious musical gems in the Mother City.
Read more on Coffeebeans Routes, make contact and book a tour via their Eco Atlas page.