From the field to the cup: a community tourism space with the scent of coffee
Visiting the COATITLAN cooperative is an opportunity to learn about coffee, enjoy a cup of this artisan-prepared beverage and contemplate nature.
The Cooperativa Integral Agrícola Atitlán El Paraíso Tz’utujil, R.L. (COATITLAN, R.L.) is located in the canton of Tzanchaj, Santiago Atitlán, Sololá. As an cooperative dedicated to the production and commercialization of coffee beans, it is a collection center for members, where they buy coffee in cherry and in their laboratories they perform the processing: washing, drying, roasting and exporting.
Since 2018 COATITLAN has been conducting educational tours on the coffee process; with demonstration plots and laboratories they promote awareness and knowledge. Its tourism activity is focused on raising awareness about the variety of the bean and the characteristics of the crop management.
The members of the cooperative work to promote community tourism with a focus on the coffee value chain, offering educational tours through the plots explaining the different activities involved in the management of the bean. The route of the value chain shows the importance of dignifying the work of small producers throughout the process.
In COATITLÁN R.L. the visits are focused on the development of guided tours through the attractions: demonstration plots, production nurseries, drying area, waste processing area, roasting laboratory and demonstration of different ways to prepare coffee. The tour ends with the tasting of a cup of coffee enjoying the moment with a privileged view of Lake Atitlán. Visitors can also walk along the shore of the lake and contemplate the volcanoes San Pedro, Atitlán and Tolimán.
In the future, the cooperative could offer tourist services such as: hiking through coffee plantations, camping, kayaking, canoe tours, glamping, biking, artisanal fishing, experiential practice through planting, harvesting and preparation of coffee.
“In our municipality, Santiago Atitlán, the topic of coffee is very cultural and the agricultural part is handled only by our grandparents and parents. I found the importance of intergenerationality in this, to keep the coffee culture alive it must be transferred from generation to generation and regardless of age, this is relevant to our organization,” said Ricardo Chavajay, a member of the cooperative.
To learn more about COATITLAN you can visit their Facebook page CoAtitlan. R.L. or call 77217389.