Tasting Notes: Butterscotch, Maple, Red Apple
Roast level: Medium
Farmer: Coordinadora de Mujeres Campesinas de La Paz
From the roaster: Coordinadora de Mujeres Campesinas de La Paz (COMUCAP), which means Organizer of the Rural Women of La Paz, is a cooperative located in southwest Honduras. It was founded in 1993 by women seeking economic independence to support their families.
Before COMUCAP was founded men were the landowners in the region and made most of the business and production decisions. The women struggled to succeed economically and socially under this inequality, so they decided to take action to free themselves from their economic dependence on their fathers and husbands. This initiative led women in La Paz to organize and create COMUCAP.
One of COMUCAP's founders began a radio program for women called Siempre Vivas. Her audience consisted of many women who didn't own land and were often victims of domestic violence. These women realized that the root of the problem was economic insecurity and began to look for ways to earn money for themselves and their families.
Banding together, the women of COMUCAP purchased approximately one hectare of land and planted coffee. Through hard work and perseverance the cooperative has grown their farmland from that single hectare to 37 hectares. COMUCAP also has a wet mill, drying patios, and a compost production plant that have helped foster coffee quality.
Thanks to the success of the association, many of the women have been able to purchase their own land, achieving economic stability and freedom. The co-op now sells coffee, aloe vera products, wine, and honey, and also manages an ecotourism center, all of which provide sources of diversified income.
With the support of several NGOs, COMUCAP has trained its members in nutrition and food security and has developed family and school orchards. These orchards were created from small areas of land where the members reuse old tires and kitchen pots to extend the viable surface for plantings. Currently 40 percent of the members work at one of the orchards, which generate additional income for the farmers, as they sell the produce they don’t consume.
The members of COMUCAP have allocated part of their Fair Trade premium to create Caja Rural, which is a cash fund that offers one-year micro-credit loans to members for small expenses and investments. The program is also supported by NGO funds. It has had a major impact on the members; for example, it has helped farmers buy necessary school supplies for their children during the start of the school year.
COMUCAP’s coffee is among the best in Honduras, and its creation has impacted more than 500 rural families.
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