Maya Vinic Coffee Cooperative, Chiapas, Mexico

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Fast Facts

Located on the Sacred Soil of the Martyrs of Acteal, Highlands of Chiapas. Founded in July 31st of 1999, Maya Vinic comprises about 700 coffee farming families located in 36 highland communities in the municipaties of Chenalhó, Pantelhó and Chalchihuitán.

Cooperative "Producers’ Union Maya Vinic"

The Cooperative "Producers’ Union Maya Vinic" is inspired by the traditions of their ancestors, it is organized and operates in keeping with a respect of local culture, language, reverence for the Mother Earth and traditional forms of self-government.

mv1Maya Vinic is born out the wider civil society "Las Abejas”, an organized response to the prevalent injustice in their communities and in the hopes of promoting positive change and autonomous development by pacific means. The plight of their communities came to the public eye in the aftermath of the infamous Acteal Massacre, where 45 men, women and children were killed by paramilitary forces and thousands more displaced from their homes. 

The organizational structure of Maya Vinic holds a General Assembly as its maximum authority. An Assembly of Community Delegates works in close conjunction with the Producers’ Board of Directors to accomplish the tasks assigned to the Education, Technical Assistance, Marketing, Administration and local Arbitration and Problem Resolution Committees.

mv3Coffee production is nothing new to the farmers of this region. “Recruited” since the arrival of the plantations in the early 1900s as poorly paid hired hands during the harvest, they learned about production and processing, and the wealth that coffee had made for a fortunate few. Soon, seeds began trickling back to the Highland communities of Chiapas.

Farmers eventually were able to organize themselves into producer cooperatives in search of more equitable markets. In keeping with this legacy, Maya Vinic has recently been accepted to the FLO register and is in its second year of organic certification. Cooperative Coffees purchased the first Maya Vinic coffee to be exported under fair trade terms in 2001.