La Suiza Cooperative
The coffee cooperative in La Suiza, Association of Farmers United for Peace and Whole Community Development (ACUPDIC - Asociacion Campesina Unidos Para la Paz y el Desarrollo Integral Comunitario), is situated in a remote mountainous region in northwest Guatemala and is comprised of ex-guerrilla fighters and internally displaced people. The land was purchased collectively through loans offered during the Peace Accords in the 90s. The loans will be paid off in full in 2015. Due to the remoteness of the city, the culture, customs and traditions have been maintained over the years. Unfortunately, it is so remote that they only have electricity during the rainy season, about 6 months out of the year.
There are 116 members in the La Suiza cooperative. Each farmer owns 32 cuerdas of land (approximately 5 acres). Due to the remoteness of the pueblo, all of the families work closely together.
- Varietals: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra and Maragogype
- Altitude: 4,300-6,000 ft (1,300-1,800 m)
- Number of members: 116
- Region: Volcanic San Marcos
- Flavor notes: Subtle floral notes, distinctive acidity and great body.
The warmest of the eight coffee-growing regions in Guatemala, San Marcos also has the highest rainfall pattern, reaching up to 200 inches (5,000 mm) and has humidity levels of 70-80%. The seasonal rains come sooner than in other regions, producing the earliest flowering. The northern portion of the department is mountainous, being crossed by the Sierra Madre mountain range, with the two highest volcanoes in Central America being located within its borders.