Thursday, January 9, 2014

Women Farmers in La Democracia

Our second day in La Democracía was more great travels to more coffee farms. We traveled by van, by truck and on foot. Everywhere is up from the town. So steep sometimes I closed my eyes and just hoped the truck would make it to up the next rise. I asked what they do during the rainy season and the answer was - stay home. You couldn't drive those roads if they were muddy.
We visited three woman farmers Sonia, Juana and Sara and were treated to a fabulous meal of tamales. All three women said how happy they are to sell their coffee to F2F for the higher consistent price. This year the "price on the street" is very low and their crop is down so this added income is needed more than ever. And all hope we will buy more next year.
As Andy in Honduras said, the Roya is a major subject. It's especially concerning seeing that everywhere you look there is only coffee growing. These farmers have much more land than the farmers around Santiago Atitlan but they aren't as diversified and that is a big concern.
Under the UPC cooperative they are receiving education and help for the Roya and will spray and fertilize (all organic certification approved) as soon as all the coffee is picked. But everyone is concerned about what the future will bring.
It was great to have Francisco E and Francisco A. along on this trip. They haven't traveled much around the country and were interested in everything. They especially commented on how peaceful and quiet it is in La Democracía.
Here are some shots from the day:
Francisco E, Francisco A and Mindy of AGAIG crossing over the river to walk up the mountain to a farm

Sonia, her 5 yr old Mikie and Jody looking at Sonia's coffee
Les of Deeper Roots Coffee Roasting looking at the quality of the coffee

Sara, one of the women growing our coffee, showing some of her coffee

Tamales for lunch!!

Juana and her grandaughter Manglory. Juana is part of the women's coffee cooperative.

In front of the brand spanking new UPC cooperative building. Very impressive.

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