Asociación Civil de Pequeños Productores de Café Manos Campesinas is an organization composed of eight cooperatives in the regions of Quetzaltenango, San Marcos, Chimaltenango and Sololá in Guatemala. Approximately 90% of the members are ethnically indigenous Mam, Quiche, Kackchikel and Tzutujil (all of Mayan origin). Café Manos Campesinas has been Fair Trade certified since its inception, allowing the organization to break free from reliance on “coyotes,” who are the local coffee buying intermediaries. Certification also provides the resources necessary for ongoing quality improvements.
Café Manos Campesinas has invested some of their Fair Trade Premium in improving the roads between communities and storage facilities. During harvest season the roads can be very difficult to navigate and producers often can not transport coffee to their warehouses. Premium funds have also been used to hire technical assistance experts for training producers in new organic techniques.