For many of the communities Southwest Airlines serves, 2017 was a challenging year. Several places we love were impacted by natural disasters, including an 8.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the Mexican states Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Tabasco on September 7. Southwest has proudly served Mexico since 2014, and our Hearts were heavy after this disaster, which was closely followed by the Central Mexico earthquake on September 19. One of the areas most impacted was Tapachula, Chiapas. People living in this area supply some of the coffee beans utilized by Community Coffee Company, our onboard partner that provides our inflight coffee.
Since 2016, Southwest and Community Coffee have teamed up with the ECOM Foundation to support coffee farming communities in this remote region of Mexico. Currently, for every pound of Community® Signature Blend coffee Southwest serves, Southwest and Community Coffee help fund educational programs in Mexico, delivered through satellite.
In continuation of support for this region, Community Coffee and the ECOM Foundation are again teaming up to meet local needs by launching a sustainable housing project to help rebuild after the earthquake. This project will focus on building homes for families located in the southern Mexico region where some of Community® Arabica coffee beans are sourced. The families affected by the earthquake will have new homes constructed using bamboo, a sustainable and low-cost material. The new structures are earthquake resilient, which will help provide the families with a more secure place to call home.
At Southwest, disaster preparedness and response is one of the core pillars of our community outreach efforts, and we are honored to play a role as the people of Tapachula rebuild. September marks the one-year anniversary of the earthquakes, as well as the start of National Preparedness Month. We encourage you to review your disaster preparedness plans this month, so you can be ready for anything that comes your way.