Tag Archives: Tropical Storm Agatha

89. Rains punish Guatemala (again)

2010-09-06 Comments Off on 89. Rains punish Guatemala (again)

Unfortunately for the people — and coffee — of Guatemala, the year of superlative rains continues. More rain fell in the month of August than normally falls in an entire year. And this weekend, 30 mudslides were reported along a particularly tragic 30-mile stretch of the Pan-American highway that cuts through the coffeelands here.

54. El Salvador investing in renovation

2010-06-04 Comments Off on 54. El Salvador investing in renovation

Last week, El Salvador’s president announced a federal program to subsidize the renovation of the country’s coffee fields by replacing aging coffee trees with seedlings. It is a rare and welcome case of government investment in region where the phrase abandono total (no translation necessary) is the most common answer I get from smallholder coffee farmers when I ask them about state support for the coffee sector. (The timing couldn’t have been better — days later Tropical Storm Agatha rolled into Central America, destroying coffee and other crops and creating an immediate need for renovation.)

52. Disasters cause more than $100 million in coffee losses in Guatemala

2010-06-02 Comments Off on 52. Disasters cause more than $100 million in coffee losses in Guatemala

The National Coffee Association here in Guatemala today said that the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano and Tropical Storm Agatha — two natural disasters that hit Guatemala last week — together will reduce coffee exports in 2010-2011 by 121.9 million pounds. By my calculations, that is more than $100 million in lost coffee revenues for Guatemalan farmers.

51. Guatemala gets pounded (again)

2010-06-01 Comments Off on 51. Guatemala gets pounded (again)

Last Thursday, the Pacaya Volcano erupted. Then the next day, Tropical Storm Agatha rolled in, destroying lives, homes, bridges, roads and — yes — coffee. The storm is a reminder that all the hard work of smallholder farmers to produce high-quality coffees for the discerning specialty market can be swept away overnight.