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.
A team from De la Gente and our partners, Farmer to Farmer and Deeper Roots, recently traveled to Huehuetenango to meet with the farmers in the UPC Cooperative. The trip included farmer visits and treks through coffee fields. Through this trip, De la Gente was able to strengthen their relationships with all parties.
During our trip, we were also able to see UPC’s brand new building. Until recently, UPC had been renting a small space, but found they were in need of more. The new space is now able to handle their green coffee inventory, their office space needs and the roaster.
This trip was a testament to what having good relationships with our customers and cooperatives can do for everyone.