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Exploring La Suiza and Ija'tz part 2

Exploring La Suiza and Ija'tz part 2

After a quick yet full trip to La Suiza, the DLG team and Chet Sadler from the Sanibel Captiva Rotary traveled to the Ija’tz Cooperative in San Lucas Toliman. Carol, DLG’s Tour Manager and I (Director of Development), traveled early that morning to make it to Ija’tz around lunch time. We spent the afternoon picking Arnulfo’s brain about tourism in San Lucas Toliman. Considering San Lucas is on the shores of Lake Atitlan and is such a beautiful community rich in history and tradition, we wanted to learn more about how we can support the cooperative through Community Tourism.

World Day of Action for Food Sovereignty

October 16th is World Day of Action for Food Sovereignty, part of a larger movement to ensure that people have the right to be in control of their food and have access to wholesome, healthy, and culturally appropriate food.

Timo, one of the veteran San Miguel farmers, trains some of the Santa Anita coffee farmers about roya.

Timo, one of the veteran San Miguel farmers, trains some of the Santa Anita coffee farmers about roya.

As part of De la Gente’s mission to generate economic opportunities for coffee communities, DLG works with cooperatives to not just grow coffee, but support diversification of other crops too. This is especially important in light of the recent roya crisis. Check out the earlier posts that profile La Suiza community’s food security pilot project.  

Food sovereignty also has ties to the Campesino a Campesino movement, which began in the early 1970s in the Guatemalan highlands. It’s a method of exchanging knowledge and information through informal networks to share and develop successful growing techniques.  Campesino a Campesino is now a movement of hundreds of thousands of peasant farmers around the world.

De la Gente uses farmer-to-farmer training in agricultural education among the cooperatives that it works with, particularly for roya training, and has proven to be very successful. Learn more about DLG projects and how you can support them!

Caoba Farms Open House

Mindy, Andy and Jane get Saturday's brew of De la Gente coffee ready.

On Saturday, we had the pleasure of serving up De la Gente coffee at Caoba Farms’ open house and food festival. If you’re unfamiliar with Caoba Farms, it is an organic farm located on the southern edge of Antigua. Operating for over 10 years, they grow fantastic produce and supply it to locals, restaurants and visitors. In addition, Caoba Farms’ on-site store sells De la Gente coffee along with other locally produced, eco- and farmer-friendly food items.

Part of the Caoba Farms property.

If you enjoy good, fresh food, you would have enjoyed Caoba’s event. And don’t worry - they plan to keep these things going, so next time you’re in town, be sure to check it out!

In addition to showing off our farmers’ finely produced coffee, visitors were treated to:

  • Culinary students from Guatemala City grilling up kebabs, and dishing out quinoa salad, tzatziki sauce on crostini, and tortillas topped with romesco and cheese;
  • A former Chicago resident was offering up her line of nut butters, pestos, hummus, coconut oil and more
  • A Guatemalan woman was showcasing her all-natural insect repellents and household cleaners
  • Others were sharing cookies, carrot bread, ceviches, flavored salts and more.

A local woman gets her dough ready for the mountain of tortillas needed for the busy event.

We are always happy to be part of the work that Caoba Farms is doing, to spread the word and showcase high-quality and responsibly produced food and drink items. Be sure to stop by their store next time you’re in or around Antigua, and pick up some De la Gente coffee!