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Our Efforts in Chiapas So Far

For more than a decade, indigenous farming communities throughout Chiapas, Mexico have worked with On the Ground and its partners to create clean water initiatives. These projects have resulted in immediate access to clean, safe water for as many as 4,300 chronically undeserved people (and for countless more as these communities flourish in the future) across 15 communities. In addition to funding physical water systems, latrines, and communal wash areas, OTG has helped educated local water committees– often composed of young, future community leaders– to maintain the projects and to teach better sanitation practices.

4,300 chronically undeserved people have benefitted from OTG's work in Chiapas.


Expanding Our Support

In early 2017 OTG began working predominantly with member communities of the Maya Vinic coffee farming cooperative, with the goal of helping them access the abundance of specialty coffee industry funding available for program work. In addition to the continuation of water projects, OTG’s collaborate efforts with Maya Vinic (and their parent organization the Las Abejas Civil Society) include quality production managment and coffee disease mitigation. This work is helping the cooperative and its members withstand a changing environment which is threatening coffee farming communities across the globe.

Starting in 2017, OTG also expand its efforts to connect members of the specialty coffee industry to the needs of coffee farming communities in Chiapas, via events like international barista competitions, Delegations and other origin excursions. These events are engaging members of the industry who may not ordinarily experience the struggles and successes of the communities that produce they coffee on which they rely.

Our evolving efforts in Chiapas center around helping our coffee-farming friends cope with the challenges of a changing enviroment.


Sustainability Through Agronomy

La Roya coffee rust, a fungal disease exacerbated by climate change, has devastated coffee crops across South and Central. Coffee farms at altitudes below 1,500 (the majority in the Highlands of Chiapas) are still reeling from the loss of up to 60% of their crop.

Our partners in Maya Vinic are now replanting their fields with the Carnica variety – a plant currently resistant to La Roya. However, without quickly implementing new agricultural practices at the community level, experts believe La Roya will begin to affect the Carnica variety within 3 to 5 years; exactly when these new plants are finally beginning to bear harvestable fruit.

Luckily, OTG and our partners have access to an amazing team of agronomists who are traversing the coffee farming highlands of Chiapas as you read this! Angelica and Pablo are working with farmers to implement new agricultural practices via community workshops. However, due to the remote nature of many of these communities, the workshops are difficult to hold and expensive to finance. Please consider joining the growing number of responsible coffee roasters and conscious consumers who support coffee farming families.

The coffee fungus La Roya decimated many farmers crops.

OTG's team in Chiapas is teaching organic practices which will help farmers survive
the coming coffee plant threats