|Founded in 2001|
Comprised of 800 members
|San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas|
|Organic||1000-1300 meters above sea level|
|Arabica – Bourbon, Caturra, Typica||Medium acidity, medium body w/ dried cherry fruit notes and chocolate finish|
At its founding in 2001, Yachil Xojobal Chu'lchan represented 383 farmer members from indigenous communities throughout Mexico's Chiapas state. Now, nearly 15 years later, the organization has grown to represent some 800 small scale producers. Yachil members have a strong indigenous identity that has led the organization to ally itself with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, a Chiapas-based leftist political group that seeks social and agrarian reform, especially with regard to indigenous control of land and other resources. While the Zapatistas first came to prominence with a famed uprising in 1994, the movement continues to forward its progressive agenda through civil resistance, with continued involvement of Yachil members.
The cooperative's coffee sales have supported the ability of Yachil members to develop independent indigenous communities, and to preserve the Tzotzil and Tzeltal Mayan customs that form their heritage. Still, Yachil members continue to face threats from national security forces and paramilitary groups due to their support for the Zapatista movement. Even so, the Yachil cooperative continues to invest in the development of its trade and its people, providing workshops and other educational programming concerning organic growing practices and organizational processes, and also investing profits into its coffee processing infrastructure. Recent years have seen improvement of Yachil's locally-based wet processing equipment, as well as the building of a secure central warehouse.
Yachil growers are located throughout the Central Highlands the form the northeastern border of Chiapas, Mexico's southernmost state. Bourbon, Caturra, and Typica varieties of Arabica coffee are typical of Yachil farms, with each cultivated at elevations ranging from 1,000 to 1,300 meters above sea level. The resulting coffee offers a medium body and acidity, with notes of dried cherry and a chocolate finish. Yachi earned its Organic and Fair Trade certifications in 2005.