coffee zapatista zapatista coffee

the Zapatista cooperatives

Yach'il Zapatista cooperative.

Comprised of 685 Members in 5 municipalities.
Annual Production of approximately 6.5 containers (260,000 pounds - 130 tons).
All Coffee Organic Certified or in transition.
Founded in 2001, Joined FLO register in 2005.
Group is Organic Certified since 2005.
Altitude of plots between 1,000 and 1,300 ft (300 and 400 mt).
Yach'il cooperative
Cooperative Coffee meeting at Pohlo
Yach-il cooperative

Yachil Xojobal Chu’lchan, which means “new light in the sky” in the Tzeltal language, has members from the Tzotzil and Tzeltal Mayan indigenous groups supportive of the Zapatista autonomous movement working towards respect for indigenous rights. In 2001, Yachil began to organize its first members with 383 producers from the municipalities of Chilon, Pantelho and San Juan Cancuc.

In 2003, Yachil sold its first container to Germany, and in 2004 they sold just over 2 containers to Germany and into the US. They currently are comprised of 685 members in five municipalities (Chanalho, Chalchihuitan, Tenjapa, Cancun, and Pantelho).  They are currently hoping to export 6.5 containers to even more buyers.  Cooperative Coffees is currently the only American importer.

Members of this fair trade coffee cooperative have formed their own local indigenous governments, which focus on community development efforts to promote democracy, equality, and empowerment. Members do not accept government handouts. Over the last decade, members of Yachil have suffered repression at the hands of government security forces and the paramilitary. Many members and their families have been forced to flee their communities as internal refugees and they continue to be victims of oppression, intimidation, and even assassination.

Zapatistas discuss growing and distributing coffee

EZLN Mural

Mut Vitz CooperativeMut Vitz COOPERATIVE

Social Solidarity Society Mut Vitz (in English, a mountain of birds) is the result of a cooperative partnership project which includes more than 1500 indigenous smallholders, that support Zapatistas, based in the Tzotzil ethnic group.

The practice of organic farming is a basic determination of Mut Vitz to ensure proper land use and to get the best beans naturally.
The cooperative Mut Vitz spans six Autonomous Municipalities in the northern highlands of Chiapas (San Juan de la Libertad, Simojovel, Bochil, Jitotol, San Andrés Sacamch'en de los Pobres y Chenalhó) in the mountains of the region of Oventic. Its aim is to build a self-sustaining economic alternative capable of providing the population of their basic needs and local infrastructure. It is a clear example of the level of community initiative and commitment to work for change in terms of respect for indigenous rights and human dignity in Chiapas.

Mut Vitz, in addition to the biological inspection and the certification of costs, reinvest part of their profits in infrastructure, consultancy, technical training, interest-free loans and emergency funds for its members.

Yach-il cooperative
Yachil neighborhood
Yach-il cooperative meeting
Meeting with Yachil 2005

Yach-il village
Outside Yachil

weighting the coffee
Weighting coffee at the Yachil office

coffee grower
Rep at Pohlo

Processing coffee
processing coffee
Processing plant
Open discussion
Yachil home
checking coffee
Sitting amid coffee

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