Cooperative Ixil de Avelina is situated in the mountains of the tropical Ixcan region in the department of Quiche, Guatemala. Ixil farmers are from the surrounding communities of San Juan Cotzal, San Gaspar Chajul and Santa Maria Nebaj.
Ixil de Avelina evolved out of the necessity to improve coffee prices. In 1998, a group began to organize and succeeded in gaining organic certification. It meant not only an improvement of the quality of life for the farmers, but also improvements for the environment through sustainable practices. In 2004, Ixil de Avelina was certified as Fair Trade coffee. Ixil de Avelina has 185 members currently and produces about 6 containers per harvest, but due to Roya (leaf rust) in 2014, their production has fallen quite a bit. Despite this, they were positive and upbeat on a recent visit from one of our buyers.
The cooperative uses its fair trade premiums to fund the projects noted below and are in the process of building a school for the community. Members are additionally participating in a pilot project by Food 4 Farmers to promote commercial beekeeping as a supplemental source of income for small coffee farmers.
Computer Studies Academy
Maya Ixil grants students in the region access to technology by maintaining a computer lab for their use.
Technical Assistance Workshops
Maya Ixil contracts agronomists to lead training workshops to enable farmers to increase their productivity, as well as for direct technical assistance support on individual farms.
Women's Microcredit Fund
While 12 female farmers are now cooperative members, coffee farming is heavily dominated by males in this community. To empower the wives of farmers to engage in other economic pursuits, Maya Ixil created a microcredit fund intended for income diversification plans, such as purchasing materials to raise livestock and to produce handicrafts and textiles. The additional income they generate both benefits the families and contributes to a growing gender equality in the community.
Clean, lilac and cane sugar aroma, creamy body, strawberry notes, pointed acidity, pleasant aftertaste