The coffee co-op has on its rural property one small elementary school, staffed by a part-time government-provided teacher. All of the UIW participants contributed and carried a bounty of school supplies for the elementary school as a gesture of our gratitude for their hosting of our group.Here, co-op elected officers are planning how to inventory and disburse the supplies during the school year.
ANACAFE is the largest coffee exporting trade association in Guatemala. Funded by members and by the government, it conducts quality assurance tests and grades coffee destined for export. It also provides marketing assistance and is available for taste tests. Here, MBA students taste the coffee samples from the various regions of the country to detect the significant differences between the highlands coffee and that grown at lower elevations.
A U.S. engineer who founded an NGO--Green as it Gets--explains the coffee planting and harvesting process to the UIW group.
Each coffee tree is picked monthly as the beans ripen. Only the red ones are picked in each cycle, and the green ones are left for the next cycle.
Each three-member UIW team was paired with a microenterprise owner of a plot of coffee trees on the mountain-side coffee co-op owned by thirty-two families who fought as guerrillas during the country's Civil War. The team then walked about two miles to the work site to begin picking ripe coffee beans.
Each UIW team, led by the plot owner, reached the designated picking spot via an almost invisible path that covered water crossings, steep hills and suspicious sounds.
At a neighborhood lunch, nearby microenterprise owners explain their business concepts.