Ija’tz (pronounced: ee-hahts) is a community organization made up of indigenous Maya Kaqchikel Tz’utuhil families located in the department of Sololá, right on the shores of Lake Atitlán. This crater lake surrounded by mountains with three majestic volcanos is known not only for its stunning beauty, but also for the small picturesque and relatively untouched villages with strong Mayan culture and traditions. In total, there are 35 small-holder farmers in the co-op and they own an average of 5-10 acres of land.
Founded in 1995, the goal of the group has always been to reclaim, preserve, and protect the land and surrounding environment while revitalizing traditional agricultural processes. The name of the co-op means “seed” in Kaqchikel (the mother tongue of the members), and was chosen because it symbolizes life and regeneration.
Our non-profit partner in Guatemala, De La Gente, began working with Ija’tz in 2015, providing training and guidance on production techniques as well as facilitating the construction of new fermentation tanks and composting facilities. We began offering Ija'tz coffee in 2016 and have enjoyed seeing consistent improvements and are excited to share this year's crop with you.
Country/Region: Guatemala / San Lucas Tolimán
Farmer: Ija’tz cooperative
Cultivar: Various Arabica
We Taste: Chocolate Wafer, Caramel, Tamarind