La Cooperativa Samac, Guatemala

We are excited to announce a new direct trade relationship with La Cooperativa Samac in Guatemala that began in July of 2023. We are so drawn to their story, one of a tight-knit community focused on being responsible stewards of their land.

The cooperative is comprised of 178 members/families in the town of Samac, located near Cobán in the department of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. The town got its name from German settlers in the late 1800s since the valley is full of a medicinal plant called sumac. Their serene location is ideal for growing coffee with surrounding mountains that provide nice shade cover in the mornings and late afternoons. The area is considered a high-elevation rainforest dotted with pine trees due to the colder climate and a few palm trees.

La Cooperativa Samac was established back in 1971. They have over 50 years of coffee harvesting and processing experience. The majority of the people of Samac speak Quiche, an ancient Mayan language, as their first language. Many of the producers speak both Quiche and Spanish but about 30% of the community only speaks Quiche.

La Coopertiva Samac has prioritized replenishing and reestablishing much of their land that had been previously deforested. In the last 5 years alone, they've planted over 2,000 hectares worth of trees. This dedication to restoring the environment around them is also seen at the farming and processing level as well. For example, instead of using mechanical dryers alone which require firewood, they built solar dryers that utilize vertical space, the sun's heat, and airflow to create a more uniform and consistent drying environment for their coffee. They aim to use their solar dryers 100% of the time in the near future. 

In 2020, the community of Samac underwent a flood that drowned their town with over 20 meters of water over a span of four to five days, leaving the steeple of their church as the only visible structure. After the waters receded, they came together as a community and divided themselves into three groups. The elderly cooked food and foraged, the able-bodied started building homes, and the young took care of their children. For the next two years, they rebuilt their community while taking on a 70% loss of their coffee harvest that year. It is so evident from this that they are a unified community seeking to do right by their land. The cooperative is eager to start building relationships with coffee roasters since it's both something they love and their main source of income. The cooperative also has a roastery that two women head up. This is a way for them to sell their specialty coffee locally while receiving a higher profit margin for roasted coffee.

With the help of Collaborative Origins Imports, we were able to find a group of producers with excellent coffee and an inspiring story behind it all. Collaborative Imports works with coffee producers across Guatemala to find them better market access to coffee roasters like us that improves their supply chain and opportunities in the coffee industry. We are so thankful to partner with Collaborative Imports again as we are able to source great Direct Trade Guatemalan coffee benefiting both our roastery and the coffee producers.

Tierra Bendita, El Salvador

We also have a direct trade relationship with the coffee farmers of Tierra Bendita located in El Salvador. Since 2022, we have been working with this family run business to provide specialty coffee from El Salvador. We are able to work directly with the family members who are involved in each aspect of the business including the farming, marketing, and distribution of the coffee they grow. We currently have their Pacas variety which originates from the Aloptepec Metapan region of northern El Salvador. We hope to expand our offerings from Tierra Bendita in the future.

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