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Santa Anita

Founded in 1988
32 Families representing about 170 people, 28 farms are organic
Annual Production is about 40,000 pounds of coffee
All coffee is organic certified since 2003
Joined FLO register in 2001

Popularly called "Santa Anita" or "Maya Civil", La Asociacion Civil Maya de Productores of Santa Anita is an organic coffee and banana producer cooperative located on Guatemala's Pacific slope between Quetzaltenango and Coatepeque at an altitude of approximately 4,000 feet. The association at Santa Anita is made up of 32 families of ex-combatants from the Guatemalan Revolutionary Unity or URNG.

With the signing of the Peace Accords, the association was able to purchase an abandoned plantation in February of 1998. Working collectively, the members have recovered the land’s production capacity. Approximately 65% of the 130-acre holding is in coffee and banana production – the remaining acres are either too steep for any type of cultivation or have been left purposely in a natural state to conserve the existing ecology.

The cooperative's values reflect the URNG’s 36 year-long struggle to create a society based upon mutual respect and democracy. Now they are leading by example. Santa Anita has a "no-kill" environmental policy, which mandates that no indigenous animals within its confines can be killed. Additionally, their board of directors has to be composed of at least 50% women at all times. Free education and healthcare are provided to all of the community’s residents.

All coffee fruit is collected daily and depulped at the communal wet mill. The washed beans are then carried up a rather steep road to the drying patios located adjacent to the small village and the old plantation home which now serves as a guesthouse.

Projects in development at Santa Anita include an organic gardening initiative, the sale of their coffee into the local market through Cafe Conciencia, and a ecotourism hosting program, which enables visitors to learn how coffee can be grown in harmony with the natural environment.

Santa Anita is rated HB, which means hard bean coffee grown at an altitude of 1300 to 1500 meters. They have been USDA Certified Organic by Mayacert since 2003.

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