Sipacapa was founded in 2009 with the help of an international non-governmental organization. This group recognized the local need to have economic opportunities that were alternatives to the dominant mining culture that was damaging to both the environment and human health. The group is also committed to continually transitioning a larger percentage of producers to organic production.
Their coffee first appeared in our Holiday Coffee in 2013, and their level of quality and execution, even being so new, was the tip off for us that we wanted to work more with them. This is only the group’s third year exporting coffee. We visited Sipacapa for the first time in February 2014 and were eager to visit based on our knowledge that this area in Guatemala is poised for quality coffee production.
Fewer than 300 producers make up the group—which is growing quickly thanks to interest among people in the area. The majority of the producers have less than one hectare of land. Sipacapa is one of six secondary cooperatives that delivers its coffee to the primary cooperative, Manos Campesinos. The years ahead will no doubt hold great growth and advancements in quality for Sipacapa, and we will eagerly be following along.
Explanation of the Name
The Sipacapa cooperative is named after the town in which it's based which is in the department of San Marcos, Guatemala.
Historically this area had a large mining culture, and the economy continues to promote mining. However, the community also has a strong desire to be a part of maintaining good environmental practices. Though there was likely coffee in this part of the country in the '90s, other economic activities took precedence, and it has only been in the last few years that coffee cultivation has come back to the area. More recent agriculture was very heavy on corn.
Miguel Mateo Sebastián, the marketing and sales manager of the primary cooperative, Manos Campesinos, has been our main point of the contact, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the timely and clear communication he provides. The general manager, Carlos Reynoso, was elected by the six cooperatives to help keep them organized and communicate their needs to the wider world. The coordinator of Sipacapa is Wilver Daniel Ardiano Fuentes—a man very committed to the growth and success of the cooperative. And, with Maribel Rocío Tojil Sánchez as president of Sipacapa (who also serves as the Vice President of Manos Campesinos), the cooperative is very conscientious about equality in gender representation both in leadership and in membership.
Varieties: Bourbon and Caturra
Elevation: 1,640–2,150 meters
Post-Harvest Process: Washed, on farm processing with fermentation times range from 24-46 hours. Dried within a week on patios.
Harvest Time: December 2014–February 2015
Certifications: Certified Organic &nbull; Counter Culture Coffee Direct Trade Certified