After a flight from Mexico City, we arrived before noon at Talquián, a community at the bottom of the Tacaná Volcano in Chiapas, Mexico, it was the first time we would see it with our own eyes, as everything we had heard about it was through the chronicles of who began to develop this social project years ago.
A great welcome
Producers and family gathered that day to give us a warm welcome, in a room like a huge classroom with chairs around the inner perimeter, one by one, we talked briefly about our work and our dream of making their coffee be known in a place called TLAKO, thousands of kilometers away, in Zurich, Switzerland. It was from that moment, seeing their faces and listening to their words, that we began to learn.
A singular coffee
We knew that the coffee produced in this region was exceptional for several reasons: the humidity of the environment, the 1400 meters high where it is cultivated and the mineral wealth of its volcanic soil; what we did not reach to see in it, was the love, care and effort that each person involved put in this project to go forward and to overcome the difficulties in the way.
A difficult road
Talquián is just one of the many communities in that area devoted entirely to coffee farming, together they have gone through severe economic limitations caused by diverse factors such as migration, the abuse of traders and brokers and coffee harvests that have been destroyed completely due to a disease caused by a fungus known as ‘La Roya’.
A new farming
As the day progressed, they led us through the trees until we reached a small piece of wood indicating the beginning of the ground that would be the spearhead of the project. In front of us a new class of coffee plants grew, a strong variety, resistant to La Roya and producing high quality coffee beans that will be purchased at a fair price without brokers, a commercial exchange that will achieve sustained economic development in the future for more than 140 producers and their families.
A grateful gift
At dusk we were invited to share a delicious chicken stew with vegetables, accompanied by a gift that today represents much of what happened that day … a small plastic bag containing the sample of the first coffee farming resulting from this program … a great gift that today TLAKO, also shares with you.