In Guatemala, gender equality remains a challenge, and coffee has long been a male-dominated industry. These factors have made it incredibly difficult for women to compete and thrive in the coffee world. That’s why we are thrilled to offer La Morena as a platform to showcase the work of women farmers across Guatemala.
In 2016, Our coffee partners Genuine Origin created the La Morena program to give female coffee growers access to the global supply chain and to address gender inequality in coffee farming. The program started off small; they imported just 32 boxes of coffee cultivated by four IWCA women farmers. Roasters were receptive and the small lot soon stocked out. The growers enjoyed success from that introduction to the market and their coffees and micro-lots became highly sought after by roasters.
Fast forward to 2022: today the La Morena program draws coffee from hundreds of women farmers spanning the coffee-growing regions of Huehuetenango and Baja Verapaz. What started as a micro-lot of 2,000 lbs of coffee has blossomed into a four container (roughly 165,000 lbs) platform that strongly addresses gender inequality in coffee. And roasters are thirsty for more!
Wakami Bracelets Maria Renee Morales, Assistant General Manager at Volcafe Guatemala, spearheaded the La Morena program. A few years ago, she augmented the program with the launch of Wakami bracelets. The La Morena bracelet project brought us into partnership with Wakami Guatemala, an NGO that brings work to women artisans. Maria saw this as a natural progression for La Morena that would maximize the impact of this coffee on the livelihoods of women artisans in her country.
Origin Report Guatemala owes its distinctive, mountainous topography, lush rain forests, biodiversity and its coffee to massive volcanic activity. Volcanic peaks and mountains roll across the country and carve out Guatemala’s unique coffee growing regions. The mountain ranges help to create the country’s unique micro-climates. Together with the rich soil left behind in the wake of immense volcanic activity, Guatemala has the ideal conditions for coffee production. Learn more in our Guatemala Origin Report.