San Marcos, Guatemala
$18.25 | 12 oz bag
In 2017 we began working with producers from the municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacán, in the department of San Marcos, Guatemala. Founded in 2011, the association comprises more than 400 farmers—a quarter of whom are women—and this lot comes from those producers who have transitioned their farming to organic practices. This coffee is made up of mostly Caturra and Bourbon varieties grown between 1,600–2,100 meters above sea level. It is reminiscent of red grape and cola with a silky body.
Asociación de Caficultores Miguelenses (ACMI) was founded in 2011 with help from ANACAFE, the domestic institution for coffee technical assistance, and the financial support of USAID. ACMI represents 462 farmers from 17 different villages surrounding San Miguel. The association provides farmers with agronomic assistance, warehousing, sample roasting and cupping facilities, as well as marketing support. Farmers process their coffee on the farm and deliver dried coffee in parchment to a centralized warehouse in San Miguel before being shipped to Guatemala City where lots receive final dry milling, sorting and preparation for export.
The ACMI group recognized the need for local economic opportunities that were alternatives to the dominant mining industry that was damaging the environment and human health. The group is also committed to continually transitioning a larger percentage of producers to organic production. In the next two years, roughly half of the farmers are expected to be certified organic.
ACMI is one of 12 producer organizations that deliver coffee to the primary cooperative, Manos Campesinas. Supporting 10 associations and 2 cooperatives from various regions in Guatemala—representing over 1,400 individual farmers, of which roughly 300 are women—Manos Campesinas provides on-the-ground expertise to farmers and is responsible for exporting their coffee to buyers around the world, including Counter Culture.
San Miguel Ixtahuacán (east TAH whah con) is the town where ACMI is based in, which is in the department of San Marcos, Guatemala. Farmers here belong to the Mayan Mam indigenous group, so they speak the Mayan language "Mam."
Historically this area had a large mining culture, Guatemala’s largest gold mine is located here, however the community also has a strong desire to be a part of good environmental practices. Though there was likely coffee in this part of the country in the '90s, other economic activities took precedence, and it is only in the last few years that coffee cultivation has returned and started to thrive.