70 youth associated with Asociación Barillense de Agricultores (ASOBAGRI)
Bourbon, Caturra, Sarchimor, Anacafe, and Villalobos
Santa Cruz Barillas, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
December - May
Fully washed and dried on patios and raised beds
Fair Trade, Organic
Convincing the sons and daughters of coffee producers to follow their parents into the family’s business is a tough sell. Young people have seen their parents suffer and sacrifice without getting ahead. On the other hand, many of these same young people don’t want to leave their communities, but they have very few opportunities beyond coffee at home. Asociación Barillense de Agricultores (ASOBAGRI), a well established cooperative in Santa Cruz Barillas with 1,400 members has decided to tackle the problem. ASOBAGRI is promoting the next generation of producers who grew up in this spectacularly rugged and isolated corner of Guatemala. These young people recognize that they live in a cultural oasis and they are keen on preserving their indigenous heritage, distinct clothing, and language. But they are also keen on showing the world that they are talented coffee growers and more. ASOBAGRI has taken the coffee produced by this youth movement to create a lot called Los Jovenes. Profits from the sale of Los Jovenes is reinvested into youth projects designed to support innovation and diversification for the next generation. The ASOBAGRI youth movement has been focused on improving coffee seed banks, investigating new organic technology for biofertilization, and developing barista, cupping and business skills through the Café Armonía program.