Zuma Coffee House is hosting a week-long Guatemalan Relief fund raiser to help the many families in need following a series of natural disasters that took place over the last month.  As Birmingham’s only 24-hour establishment, the fund-raising effort will run 24/7 for a full week, beginning at 12:01am on Sunday, June 20 through Saturday, June 26 at midnight.

In late May, the Pacaya Volcano erupted, scattering several inches of volcanic ash over Guatemala City and the countryside.  Shortly thereafter Tropical Storm Agatha dumped torrential rain across the country, creating massive flooding and mudslides that have destroyed bridges, homes and farm land.  Additionally a series of small earthquakes have undermined the country’s already fragile infrastructure. Even people who are not personally affected by the floods are affected by the lack of tourism that has resulted from the recent disasters. Images are available online at: https://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/06/a_rough_week_for_guatemala.html

During the week Zuma Coffee House will display various crafts and artwork from Guatemala.  For a minimum contribution of one dollar ($1.00) donors will receive a Guatemalan Worry Doll, a popular symbol of Guatemala culture.  According to legend, Guatemalan children tell one worry to each doll when they go to bed at night and place the dolls under their pillow. In the morning the dolls have taken their worries away.  Further, Zuma Coffee House will display the award-winning photography of Detroit-native, Marco Mancinelli, and his collection of original Guatemalan photographs.  The exhibit features picturesque Antigua, the scenic Guatemalan countryside, traditional Mayan dress and photographs of children taken in an elementary school for underprivileged girls in Guatemala City.

The week-long fund raiser will culminate with a Guatemalan Relief family event on Saturday, June 26th from 10:00 to 1:00pm.  The Bilingual Fun Company will provide a festive bilingual Spanish language story time complete with music, dancing and singing.  Children’s music will be performed live by the group, Duck.  Marco Mancinelli will be on-hand to personally share his exhibit and experiences in Guatemala.  Various crafts and puzzles will entertain and educate children about Guatemala.  Zuma Coffee House will donate the entire day’s proceeds, plus all contributions received throughout the week, to the cause.

All donations will benefit Mayan Families, a non-profit organization working on-the-ground in Guatemala, particularly in the Lake Atitlan region.  A donation of $40 dollars can provide a family of five with a 100-pound bag of corn, sufficient to provide tortillas for 3-meals a day for two weeks.  Or, for the same monetary donation, a family could receive ten (10) chicks, providing them with both supplemental income and food.

For Lisa and Richard Spicko, owners of Zuma Coffee House, the connection to Guatemala is personal.  The Spicko’s adopted an infant and two-year old from Guatemala in the fall of 2007.  During their adoption processes they travelled to the country many times, always bringing several suitcases full of clothing, medical supplies and toys for children in need.  They witnessed first-hand the pride, warmth and respect of the Guatemalan people, even those living in the most meager of circumstances.

“Following the recent tragic events in Guatemala, we have felt a strong call-to-action.  We are concerned for our children’s birth and foster families and the many wonderful people we met during our numerous visits to Guatemala,” said Lisa Spicko, co-owner of Zuma Coffee House.  “Any one that has adopted a child knows that you carry forever in your heart the people who made it possible for you to become a family.”

“As an independent coffee house we enjoy the freedom to rally behind causes, such as this, that are important to our family and community.  Having met many families in Michigan with children from Guatemala, and realizing we all feel the need to do something to help, this fund-raiser is sure to make a difference,” said Richard Spicko, co-owner of Zuma Coffee House.

“Zuma” is Mayan for ‘new beginning or journey’ and aptly describes how the Spicko’s transformed their lives.  After adopting an infant and toddler from Guatemala in fall 2007 the couple needed to re-structure their lifestyle to better suit their new family.  They left corporate America and ventured into small business ownership, purchasing the Java Hutt Café – Birmingham in November 2008.  The Spicko’s are grateful to mark their first year of ownership as a success.

Zuma Coffee House is located at 207 S. Old Woodward Avenue next to the Uptown Birmingham 8 Theatre in the heart of Birmingham’s Principal Shopping District.  Open 24 hours, 365 days a year, Zuma Coffee House is host to students studying, friends meeting, movie-goers and business people enjoying the free wi-fi at all hours.  The drink menu includes coffee, espresso drinks, tea, hot cocoa, bottled juice, smoothies and soda.  Fresh baked goods including scones, cookies and brownies made daily, soups and chili’s created from scratch, along with a large variety of made to order sandwiches and salads are sure to please all palates.  Learn about specials and browse our menu online at www.zumacoffee.com.

Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.
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Lisa Spicko
12 years ago

Thank you to Jennifer Manriquez and Detroit Mommies for helping spread the word about our Fundraiser and Family Event!

– Lisa, Richard, Carlos & Xander Spicko