Guaya'b Asociacion Civil is a coffee cooperative located in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes region near Huehuetenango, in north-western Guatemala. Formally established in 1998, Guaya'b began selling to the Fair Trade market in 2000. The sales made by Guaya'b have brought stability to the cooperative and have enabled its members to have better livelihoods and quality of life.
The association represents 477 coffee and honey producers, 299 of these producers are listed as coffee growers and 178 as honey producers, although in practice some members have both honey and coffee. Most of the members are Popti' Maya, and the group's name means "mutual benefit" in their language.
Among the services Guaya'b offers to its members are a low interest loan service (farmers typically are left without sufficient cash in the months prior to harvest to pay for essentials, and may not be able to find casual work in this period either), and services for local women such as nutritional advice and work and business training (making honey-processing equipment and running a honey store in Jacaltenango).
Technical assistance aimed at improving the quality of honey and coffee production is central to Guaya'b's work. The co-operative provides an at-cost supply of certified coffee seedlings to its members.
A revolving credit fund supports members' efforts to renovate their coffee farms.
Construction of its own wet processing mill on the outskirts of Jacaltenango has created an opportunity for many coffee-producing members of Guaya'b to process their coffee from cherry stage to dried coffee parchment much more cheaply (at about 25% of the previous cost), and more quickly, than they previously could. It is also expected that by using the wet mill farmers can produce a more consistent, higher quality coffee than they can in their own backyards.
With the Fair Trade pricing, Guaya'b farmers have increased their own earnings and reinvested a portion of their profits into the community. As a result, the region’s economy is more stable and the rate of migration has decreased.
The photo's shown on the left are from a Guaya'b visit that C4 made while visiting co ops in guatemala recently.
Guaya'b is a beauty both black or white, with notes of toffee, toasted almond, and lime.
-Co Operative: Guaya'b Asociacion Civil
-Producers: 299 members of the Popti' Maya community
-Region: Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Huehuetenango,
-Varietals: Typica, Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai
-Harvest Period: December to March
-Process: Washed, patio dried
-Certifications: Fair Trade, Organic
-Roast Profile: Medium/Espresso
Ideal for all pressurized methods ie Espresso or Stovetop, or for filter methods such as Plunger.
Also suitable for all filter methods; Chemex, V60, Aeropress, Clever, Swiss Gold, Moccamaster, Cold Drip/Brew, if you prefer a darker more full bodied taste.