Mexico/Guatemala Insta-tour

Mar. 11, 2016

This is an Instagram-travelogue consisting of a few ‘grams shot during Tom’s recent trip to Mexico and Guatemala. Our Instagram page has more travel pics as well.

They gots it all…

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I made a friend today in Oaxaca. Maybe we will do a #pigsofcoffee calendar?

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My Xinabajul people today – what an amazing hike to the highlands above the coffee farms here in #Huehuetenango through beautiful native forests set in thick fog. At the top you could look down at three different coffee communities from this perch, pushing 3000 meters. The Recinos family brought the stove for coffee water, and we talked a lot about what the environment here means to them. Coffee is so striking; the houses of all these farmers has coffee trees touching the walls on all sides. They live with their crop. Nobody needs to tell them how directly the coffee process affects their families. They all use fertilizer and spray for Roya, but they do it with this awareness. They also all compost extensively, maintain shade trees, and have catchments for coffee processing water. The problem here is still illegal logging though, and it takes some greater political will to stop this. Hopefully it’s coming because these people are ready for it.

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Just a sliver of beauty from a stroll through a C. America forest last week.

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Looking over the film I just got back from Guatemala and I wants to highlight this gentleman, Herculino Lopez. Here's a guy farming coffee (and tending bees) at 1900 meters who has been selling all his coffee at base levels on the local market, but, just out of pride of work, does an amazing job with his care of the coffee plants. A farmer like Herculino with really good quality potential is the kind of person I live to meet, because historically he has been shut off from the opportunity to sell coffee at a better price by too many factors to list here. But one worth highlighting is that he can't put coffee in a competition because his farm is too small and (most importantly) he can't wait months to get paid for his parchment coffee. I'll be honest, his processing method needs some improvements, and we discussed it at length. So maybe next harvest, yes, 1900m Herculino coffee. #Guatemala #TriX400

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Coffee and light. The surprising thing about this photo is that it's at 1900 meters in Oaxaca Mexico and its Bourbon. Factoring in the distance to the equator, this is some seriously high grown coffee, higher than I though possible for the region. And the fact this is replanted coffee, a young Bourbon nonetheless, after Roya swept through the area 4 years ago, is quite a nice surprise. In other areas farmers are only planting Sarchimor and Catimor hybrids after Roya took its toll. They are wise to do so in many cases. But I'm so glad to see others who, because of their local climate and potential for high quality coffee, choose to replant the old varieties of coffee. #sierramixteca #Oaxaca #mexico #bourboncoffee

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