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Coffee Cooperative

Hydroelectric Powered Community Producing Coffee in the Mountains of Guatemala

Hydroelectric Powered Community Producing Coffee in the Mountains of Guatemala

Imagine you live in Guatemala and you have just paid off a 12 year mortgage to the government. Now you and your 116 fellow community members are the proud new collective owners of an old coffee plantation where you took up residence after the end of the 36-year civil war. The farm has seen better days, and now the fields are overgrown, the machinery has fallen into disrepair, and the only source of electricity is a small hydro-powered system that requires some tender loving care.

“We have to value ourselves! We have value!” ~ Marta Salazar

“We have to value ourselves! We have value!” ~ Marta Salazar

“We (women) have to value ourselves. WE HAVE VALUE. If we don’t value ourselves we can’t succeed and agriculture is important for everyone. If we don’t have farmers, we don’t have any vegetables or food.” ~ Marta Salazar on the importance of women recognizing their own value and the important work they do.

La Suiza - A Story of Resourcefulness & Resilience

La Suiza - A Story of Resourcefulness & Resilience

The community of La Suiza was formed after the end of the Guatemalan civil war, when a group of displaced people discovered an incredible find nestled into the mountains of the San Marcos department (western Guatemala, not far from the Mexican border). A group of families and individuals came together and, with the support of government financing, purchased an old German coffee plantation called La Suiza and began to construct a new life together.