Our vision is a world where coffee growing communities are prosperous
We work with coffee producers and their families in the Ixil region of Guatemala. Our comprehensive, integrated approach to development helps them as they empower themselves to choose their own future based on their priorities, values, and culture. Our trainers are farmers from within the community who teach their peers what's worked for them. The people have built a sustainable micro-credit program with close to 2,000 women, nearly doubled coffee production after losing 75% of their crop to the roya fungus, and grown over 100 gardens to feed their families.
We need your support to achieve our vision. Become a member today and join a community committed to making a sustainable difference in the world. We're shifting the conversation about coffee. We talk about where our coffee comes from to connect with the hands behind every cup. We listen and share stories from coffee fields to espresso bars, because everyone has a story about coffee. We trust in the people of coffee, from farmer, to barista, to you. Join The Coffee Trust in helping coffee farmers and their families overcome poverty at origin.
The Ixil Region
The Ixil region of northern Guatemala is a coffee-growing community rebuilding after Guatemala's civil war. The war so devastated the region that over half the population of San Gaspar Chajul was decimated. Formerly made up of subsistence farmers, the allure of cash for coffee drove farmers away from the ancient agricultural practices that made their lands plentiful. Now over 90% of the people live in poverty.
Our Methodology: Farmer-to-Farmer Development
"Our community has the solution."
-Francisco Matom Marcos, Roya Recovery Project Promoter
Farmer-to-Farmer development relies on farmers to share agricultural practices and experiences with each other. Farmers learn effective practices from other farmers and create new methods through their own ingenuity. The experience of learning from equals is empowering, promoting an "if she can do it, so can I" perspective. With the Farmer-to-Farmer approach, the impact expands well beyond the project area as farmers keep sharing information without boundaries.
La Roya Recovery: Coffee farmers in Ixil lost up to 75% of their crop due to a fungus called la roya (coffee rust). We support a comprehensive program to combat la roya and replenish nutrients in the soil using sustainable, organic agricultural strategies and Effective Microorganisms. Learn more.
Education: In Ixil, only 11% of children complete primary school, 5% complete high school, and less than 1% earn a college degree. Our program increases access to education by providing scholarships and helping create a better learning environment within the community.
Food Sovereignty and Health: These programs empower families to take ownership over their own food production and health. Participants learn to grow gardens, raise hens, produce compost, prepare nutritious meals, use medicinal plants, build efficient stoves, and reproduce Effective Microorganisms to improve soil and crop health. Learn more.
Economic Diversification: The Women's Savings and Microcredit, Weaving, and Honey Production programs assist communities in becoming economically independent from coffee. Participants start their own small businesses and work to stabilize their incomes regardless of the volatile coffee market. Learn more.