Both Antonio Bautista and Elba Velazquez are second generation coffee farmers, Their parents produced coffee in Guatemala before them and it was this experience, growing up around coffee trees, that allowed them to learn most of what they know about farming coffee today. About two years ago, Antonio joined a coffee cooperative in his region where he learned how to improve his practices on the farm, he started by paying closer attention to his farming processes, keeping an eye out as to what could be improved.
Before last harvest, Antonio used to sell his coffee to the ﬁrst person who passed by, regardless of what that person was offering. Antonio and Elba were starting to notice that the prices they were receiving for their coffee were not sustainable and it even got to the point where they considered replacing their coffee plantations for something else.
Antonio and Elba started working with Caravela last year when we visited them for the ﬁrst time. The 2016/17 harvest marks the ﬁrst time that Antonio Bautista sold his coffee for a sustainable price. This price motivated him to continue improving his quality as he now had a place to sell his coffee. For the past year, our PECA team has been working hand in hand with these committed producers to continue improving their practices. We are proud to see that they are starting to evolve from drying on cement patios to raised beds with shade. Now Elba says that “They live for coffee and coffee lives for them.”