Indépendance du café pour CEPEK
Together we can offer 300 Guatemalan farmers the opportunity to live and learn from their natural coffee production !
Indépendance du café pour CEPEK
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Quixaya which means "the heart of the water" in the Catchikel langage, is a Mayan indigenous village established for generations in the Solola countryside between Lake Atitlan and the volcano of the same name. Seven years ago, within this community, was created the CEPEK project : Center of Eco-Production and Education K'uxya.
The team of the CEPEK project
CEPEK is the result of the initiative of 7 young people from the village who are determined to offer agricultural independence to all families in the community. Thanks to the struggle of their ancestors, 50 years ago, each family of Quixaya has a plot of land to fill a part of their food needs. The CEPEK project wants to push food sovereignty further by training each member of the community to ancestral Mayan permaculture techniques in order to no longer depend on the seeds and treatments sold by the giants of the agro-food industry.
Thus, after training the traditional permaculture on their respective plots, the CEPEK team now offers free training, material, seeds and support to each family in the village who want to learn and apply permaculture and aqua-culture.
The project of this Crowdfunding:
One of the great riches of Quixaya lies in the 30,000 coffee plants of native varieties (Catimorra, catuai, borvon, salchimor) cultivated naturally throughout the site. While the region, famous for its "coffee route" is filled with coffee fields in monoculture; the Quixaya coffee plants thrive happily among dozens of other edible species on the 8 hectares of land connected to the community.
Each year, nearly 60,000 pounds (27,000 kl) of coffee berries are harvested by the inhabitants of Quixaya. An incredible wealth of great quality which for the moment does not benefit at all to the community. Whitout having the machines to separate the coffee beans from the pulp which surrounds them; they have no choice but to sell their production to the company OBED which centralizes all the coffee production of small farmers in the region.
Pulp coffee has very little value because it loses about 4/5 of its mass during the pulping process. Not to mention the fact that large companies with production power, they can apply a very low purchase price and completely control the market.
The community coffee is then selling 14 euros for 100 pounds (about 45kl) or 14 cents for 1 pound. And while the inhabitants of Quixaya produce native and natural coffee in large quantities each year, they are forced to consume the codified coffee sold in groceries stores for more than 3 euros per pound.
Allocation of funds
The coffee season which runs from October to December is fast approaching and with the CEPEK team we aim to ensure that this year's coffee work can be rewarded to its true value.
This crowdfunding aims to raise the money needed to buy a "pulping machine" and to build the infrastructure used to wash and dry the coffee beans. We would installed the structure in October and made it available to all the families of Quixaya.
This pulping machine works on electricity or by hand for small quantities. The ultimate goal is to have it run thanks to a water-turbine in order to be fully self-sustain and ecological.
This will then make it possible to obtain the coffee in a format called Pegamino, without pulp and dried, simply surrounded by a thin protective skin. Pegamino coffee has a much higher added value than coffee pulp since it requires less work before getting the finished product.
This step of the coffee process is called "oro" it comes just after the pegamino.
We were able to build a partnership with the small Shangri-La coffee company in San Marcos La Laguna, which is committed to buying Quixaya coffee in pegamino for 1200 quetzales / 100L or 140 euros for 45 kilos of coffee. Shangri-La will then take care of removing the protective pod, roasting and selling some of the coffee; the rest of the coffee will come back to Quixaya and will be used for family consumption and direct sale to groups of visitors.
José one of CEPEK creators and Tim the creator of Shangri-La meet in the coffee roastery
But that's not all, a training agreement was passed with Shangri-La to teach the art of roasting and the operation of coffee marketing to members of the CEPEK project. Thus, in a few years, thanks to the accumulated benefit and experience, Quixaya will be able, to independently complete its coffee production and take care of all the stages, from the tree to the sale !
In addition to this the coffee pulping products will find a second life in other areas of the farms. The pulp will serve to strengthen the lombri-compost, the pods will serve as mulch and the honey waters resulting from grain washing will serve as natural fertilizer.
Some key figures to understand the issues:
A family living in Quixaya earns an average of 120 euros a month, plus the sale of coffee which at the moment amounts to an income of about 200 euros per year if it has a production of raw coffee of 1500 pounds or 680 kilos .
The installation of the pulp machine coupled with the partnership with Shangri-La would allow each season of coffee for a similar production would bring close to 500 euros (the transport and use of machines taken into account).
But this would also open up new jobs for 4 to 5 people in the village who would take care of the coordination of the project and the proper functioning of the machine.
What the crowdfunding represents precisely:
1600 euros for the purchase of the "Depulpadora" electric motor included.
1000 euros for the construction of the infrastructure (equipment and salaries)
350 euros moisture tester for coffee beans (315 + price of importation)
550 euros in bank transfers and transport of machinery
The fundraising campaign goes through me (Loélia) as an individual because CEPEK does not yet have its own bank account. I will receive the funds on my personal French account as soon as they are available (between 5 and 10 days after the end of the campaign) and we will buy the machine together at that time.
In terms of infrastructure, in order not to waste time, the equipment will be purchased upstream so that the construction is ready to begin the depulping and washing of the coffee as soon as possible.
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And if the project does not reach the sum?
In all lucidity it will be difficult to reach the sum necessary for the successful realization of the project this year.
But life is made of twists and turns and we must adapt so we will work all this year with Shangri-La, IMAP and other organizations to ensure the viability and smooth operation of the project in every step of its realization . This in addition to working to unite the necessary background for next summer so that everything is in place for the 2018 coffee season.
We will pay the missing amount at the end of the campaign in order not to lose the generous donations of this Crowdfuding which will be kept on the account of CEPEK, newly opened at BANRURAL.
With much joy and hope, we thank you for supporting the village of Quixaya and its project CEPEK! :)