De la Gente is always on the lookout for innovative products to diversify income and value streams for coffee producers here in Guatemala. This year marked the debut of our natural-processed green coffee offering from San Miguel Escobar, Antigua. Natural Processed coffee beans are dried in the fruit of the coffee plant and accentuate the already florally fruity flavors typical of the Antigua Region while reducing the environmental impact of processing coffee.
Summer is heating up! This year though we are stoked to be jumping on the cold brew bandwagon (or at least chasing it). We have developed the perfect blend of beans Grown by two of our highest cooperatives in Huehuetenango and San Miguel Escobar, the Altitude Blend is a coalescence of chocolate, fruit and spice. Pick up a bag today and start enjoying your own cold brew concoction at home or wherever your summer plans take you.
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.
De la Gente is excited to introduce the women of North Fork Roasting Company, as part of our series on Women in Agriculture and Business. North Fork Roasting Company, on Long Island, NY is a coffee shop and roasterie which was founded by two incredible woman and has an all female leadership team. Jess & Jenni the Co-Founders along with Bri the General Manager visited and volunteered with us for the past couple weeks. We are so excited to share their story during our week long celebration of International Women's Day.
“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.
Investing in gender equality leads to improvements in quality and quantity throughout the coffee value chain because it provides women with access to the information and key resources they need to produce better coffee, resulting in higher income for families and communities. As coffee importers, we facilitate meaningful relationships between buyers and producers through our direct trade model. We are excited to continue exploring opportunities to minimize the gender gap in agriculture as it relates to the coffee sector.
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.
We've broken down the steps of the coffee process so everyone can see all of the work that goes into a single cup of coffee. However, what's missing (or impossible to show) is the difficulty behind this work, the hours that go into each step, the walking to/from the fields every day (which can be up to 2 hours each way), the number of passes on each coffee tree during harvest and on and on and on.
March is Women’s History Month in the US, the UK and Australia. It was created to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. I have long been a feminist and have greatly appreciated and have benefited from women that have fought for women’s rights. Growing up in the US in a middle-class family, I rarely wanted for anything, and education (including university) was a given. However, working and living in Guatemala has given me a whole new perspective on what it is to be a woman and just how lucky I have been in life.