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Guatemala SHB EP
"Trapichitos"

In 1989, Guatemala’s 36-year civil war ended. After many years spent hiding in the rugged mountains of west-central Guatemala, a group of Ixil Indians returned to their village to find that their ownership of the land was not recognized by the new government. After five years, a collective of 80 families was able to purchase a meager 25 acres of land - not enough to sustain them, but enough to sustain hope. In 2000, with help from the Agros Foundation, the collective was able to purchase a much larger, 635-acre tract to raise bananas, lemons, oranges, and coffee. Thus was the Trapichitos community born.

The goal of Trapichitos’ coffee project is to produce coffee of the highest quality in order to earn a reasonable return on their hard work. The natural environment of Trapichitos make this a possibility, since the community (and its coffee plantings) sit above 4,600 ft.; the people of Trapichitos make it a reality by planting only Bourbon and Typica coffee trees, and meticulously caring for the coffee from seedling to mill. The coffee is passive organic, hand-picked, hand sorted for defect, and sun dried on raised wooden racks. After the villagers have done the initial sorting (without the benefit of any machinery), the coffee is loaded onto burros, taken down to trucks, and whisked off to a cooperative mill in Guatemala City for final processing and export. The bourbon beans are meticulously processed and sorted, and the resulting cup is beautifully nuanced, with a delicate smoky tone and medium to light body. The price for the coffee was set by the coffee growers themselves, and is paid to them directly.

J.P. Licks works with our importer, Atlas Coffee, who purchases the entire lot from Trapichitos. We’ve made two trips to the village in Guatemala, and consider the families who grow, harvest and process this wonderful coffee to be our friends.


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Visit the Trapichitos community on the shores
of Lake Atitlan. Click any image above
to see a slide show.

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