Guatemala - Red De Mujeres - Washed - Organic
GUATEMALA - RED DE MUJERES - WASHED - ORGANIC
Coffee, sugar and bananas compete annually for Guatemala's number one export. Today, the Guatemalan coffee sector generates around 40% of all agricultural export revenue and almost quarter of the population is involved in producing the 3.6 million bags of coffee Guatemala exports each year. Guatemala’s stellar coffee reputation is a combination of the right environmental conditions and a strong focus on cultivation and processing methods. Coffee is widely cultivated and grows in 20 of the 22 departments in Guatemala. High altitudes, consistent rainfall and mineral-rich soils make coffee an excellent crop across much of Guatemala. The nearly 300 unique microclimates means that Guatemalan coffees boast a diverse range of favours. Some accounts have coffee cultivation in Guatemala starting as early as the mid-18th century, when Jesuits brought coffee plants to decorate their monasteries in the city of Antigua. There are accounts dating back to the early 1800s of Guatemalans drinking coffee. Most arable coffee lands were owned by large landowners of European descent. These landowners employed indigenous people from the highlands, few of whom officially owned their own land, to tend and harvest coffee on large farms. This model, while contributing greatly to existing inequality, also put Guatemala on the global map of coffee production. The history of Guatemala over the past 150 years has been closely tied to coffee, since coffee influenced mass relocation of local people, prompting the CIA coup and resulting in civil war of the mid 20th century. This Guatemalan civil war did not end until 1996, and the violence of the war had hindered the Guatemalan coffee industry significantly. Peacetime stability slowly worked to spread coffee production beyond historic coffee growing regions, land where popular crops like macadamia and avocado were once grown, came to be replaced with coffee.
The Red de Mujeres, or network of women, is a large group of female coffee producers covering five different areas of Huehuetenango. Of the three non-volcanic coffee producing regions in Guatemala, Huehuetenango is the highest and driest. Thanks to the dry, hot winds that blow into the mountains from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain, the region is protected from frost, allowing Highland Huehue to be cultivated up to 6,500 feet (2,000 meters). These high altitudes, unique climate and chalky soils of Huehuetenango, are ideal for the production of exceptional quality arabica coffee. Re de Mujeres is made up of 830 women. Within the entire community of women there are 8 different Mayan languages spoken, highlighting the diversity of culture and language in this area of Guatemala. All of these women have been either widowed during the 36 years of civil war in Guatemala, or were left when their husbands fed the country during the coffee crisis between 2001 and 2004. Since Huehuetenango was one of the areas hardest hit by the crisis, many people decided to give up altogether and
find work elsewhere, leaving their families behind. With the help of ACODIHUE, a coffee growing organisation who provide support to coffee farmers through empowerment, education, financial support and help with resources, these female producers have been united to market their coffee and find international buyers. ACODIHUE has also supported them in training in organic farming
methods, from producing and applying fertilizers, to rust and pest control methods.
Kiwi, Caramel, Green Apple