Guatemala is located in Central America, between Mexico to the Northwest, Honduras and El Salvador in the Southeast. Guatemala has a rich and ancient culture long before it was colonized by the Spaniards. A lot of the ancient Mayan culture is still to be seen and experienced in the day-to-day culture, food, rituals and beliefs. Even coffee production has long roots in the country and has a very strong place within the culture and economy. Guatemala is colourful, complex and interesting country with beautiful coffee produced in various regions and micro-climates.
The mayan civilization (2,000 BC – 250 AD) is known to be one of the first civilizations in Mesoamerica, which was defeated by the Spanish conquest of Guatemala in 1511.
For nearly 330 years, Guatemala was part of the “Capitania de Guatemala”, which included what now is known as Guatemala, areas of the modern Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In 1821 the Capitania claimed their independence from Spain without any violent war and every country became an independent Republic. In the late 20th century, Guatemala experienced a series of authoritarian governments, which then lead to a 36 year-long civil war that ended in 1996 with the “Acuerdos de Paz” (peace agreements). Since then, we have experienced some violence due to drug trafficking and lack of a reinforcesable justice system. Today it is a thriving economy in Central America and a Democracy.
Coffee production and export has always been an important part of Guatemalan economy and the way of life. It is estimated that there are over 125,000 coffee producers and Guatemala is the eight biggest exporter of coffee in the world. Coffee is one of the most important agricultural exported goods in Guatemala taking up to 40% of the areable land.