Guatemala La Voz – Fair Trade Organic
This coffee comes from a region in the Western Highlands of Guatemala named for its picturesque volcanoes and beautiful lake, Lago Atitlan. Grown in fertile volcanic soils by a small farmer cooperative rich in Indian tradition, La Voz que Clama en el Desierto (“The Voice that Cries out in the Desert”) has been certified organic since 1992. The name pays homage to St. John, the patron saint of the village, San Juan La Laguna. The population is about 95% Tz’utujil.
La Voz’s coffee trees are cultivated under a rich shade tree canopy that includes many trees native to the region. This canopy provides a home to a diversity of migratory bird species. La Voz is a cooperatively managed farmer group with 161 partners. 100 partners are male owners, and 61 are female owned farms, a rarity in coffee farming. The associate farmers produce coffee on small plots of land (about 1 hectare each, or 2.5 acres) that are individually owned and maintained. Ripened coffee is harvested by family members and other coop associates. Sacks of coffee cherries are manually carried to the communal wet processing mill where La Voz’s management oversees the depulping, fermentation, sorting and patio drying. La Voz also recently has created other revenue by opening a language school and eco-tour.