After the end of the 30-year-long civil war in Guatemala, a group of ex-guerrillas from Santiago Atitlán decided on a fresh start with a cooperative. The ideals for which they fought were meant to be transferred to civilian life in this way. The organization that they established was given the name AMNSI – Asociación Maya Nuevo Sembrador Integral, which can be translated as the “Association of New Organic Mayan Farmers”. After intense discussions, the cooperative decided to concentrate on growing coffee because Lake Atitlán is one of the best coffee growing regions in Central America.
When the cooperative was officially established in 1999, not only did 60 member families find a new livelihood but a step was also taken to support the entire community. Diego Tacaxoy, the current representative of AMNSI, says: “With the idea of forming a coffee cooperative, we aim to achieve fair prices for all coffee farmers in the region.”
After the harvest, the cooperative members bring the coffee to AMNSI warehouse, where the coffee is processed immediately. The beans are removed from the cherries, sorted by size and washed. The beans then ferment for 48 hours and are sun dried until they reach a moisture level of 12%.
Altitude: 1,600m – 1,800 meters
Region: Lake Atitlán
Processing: Arabica, washed, manual harvesting and sorting