Our coffee is grown on the 5,000 foot slopes of the high volcanoes that surround Lake Atitlan, an area often called 'the heart of the Mayan empire.' It is produced by indigenous Tzutzuil peoples from Santiago Atitlan and San Juan La Laguna (and they don't take American Express!)
These people have maintained their culture and traditional dress in spite of centuries of political and social pressure to assimilate, and they have paid a high price for their beliefs. The farmers are very conscious of the importance of shade as an ecological niche for migratory songbirds, for the health of the soil, and for the additional sustenance the hardwoods and fruit trees provide their families.
I have worked on behalf of indigenous political parties as an International Election Observer during very dangerous times, and for many years as International Project Director for Coffee Kids to bring women's microcredit and health promotion projects to the communities.
The coffee is a small dark green bean that is SHB (strictly hard bean), fully washed and sun-dried. It is medium body, acidic with a smoky flavor. We use Guatemalan in our BirdWatcher's Blend (medium) and Rattlesnake Brew (light/dark).
'Utsa Quesh' - Hello! (in Tzutzuil)
'Es peligroso nadar en el lago?' - Is it dangerous to swim in the lake?
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