Juan Valdez, Mr. Coffee of Colombia, died Friday

2,555Views 0Comments Posted 26/04/2024

Carlos Castañeda, the iconic face of the Juan Valdez brand, died Friday.   Castañeda was 58 years old and died at the Las Vegas clinic in Medellin Colombia where he was recovering from heart surgery.  The Colombian coffee grower embodied the iconic and mustached character of Juan Valdez, who represents the Café de Colombia brand, was from the village of San Bartolo, located in the municipality of Andes, in the department of Antioquia.  Carlos had been playing the role of Juan Valdez for 20 years.  In 1959 the idea of ​​creating a character around coffee was born and they began to think of a man who would simply represent pride, roots in the land and dedication to work, in addition to the tenacity that characterizes Colombians," according to the FNC, a union that brings together 540,000 Colombian coffee-growing families.  Since then, the image of the peasant with a mustache, a hat, a padded carrier and a poncho hanging from his left shoulder has traveled the world, accompanied by 'Conchita', his mule, as the emblem of Colombian coffee. I have seen a number of pictures of Conchita through the years, and I could tell that many different mules played the part of Conchita.  And Carlos was not the very first Juan Valdez either.  As in the James Bond films, the character has been played over time by several men with these characteristics, and the first of them was the Cuban José Duval, who was followed by the Colombians Carlos Sánchez and Carlos Castañeda.  “Carlos, a great and committed co-worker, also leaves us with the best memories,” said the Coffee Growers Federation of National Coffee Growers (FNC).