Mexico’s diverse geography, from the soaring altitudes of the country’s four mountain ranges to the beautiful coastal regions along the Pacific, supports diverse farming practices and a broad variety of crops. Chiapas is the country’s southernmost state, home to the Sierra Madre de Chiapas Mountain range. To its west are the coffee growing regions of Oaxaca and Vera Cruz, but it is the beans of Guatemala’s Huehuetenango region, directly to the east, with which Chiapas coffee shares so much character. Farmers in Chiapas have begun a transition back to organic farming techniques as a way to achieve self-sufficiency and to create sustainability for their communities. The continued development of a network of Fair Trade farmers’ cooperatives is helping local people slowly improve their quality of life.
• Chiapas is Mexico’s southernmost state, sharing a border with the Guatemalan state of Huehuetenango.
• The Sierre Madra mountain range provides the region with volcanic soils and lush vegetation.
• All coffee trees are shade-grown, supporting diverse forest habitats.
• Chiapas suffered upheaval during the suppression of the Zapatista movement, which rebelled against the oppression of indigenous peoples by military and commercial groups.
• Fair Trade organizations are now instrumental in socio-economic development in the area.
• Organic farming is slowly strengthening local economies and improving nutrition.
• Agriculture is ecologically sustainable and community-driven.