...the most beautiful lake in the world!

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Shade Tree Coffee

Lake Atitlan's low latitude and high altitude make the region ideal for premium coffee production.
Please take a moment to visit at our Lake Atitlan Coffee page.

Selling coffee in the market.
Coffee drying in the sun.
Under the shade trees.
Butterfly on a coffee plant leaf.

By far Guatemala's main industry is coffee production. In fact, as the international price of coffee goes, so goes the Guatemalan economy. Hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans are directly employed in coffee farm and millions more depend on the money that enters the Guatemalan economy from the coffee business.

Enormous tracks of land are devoted to coffee. This land used to be pristine forests; forests that supported a rich ecology. Birds, in particular, thrived here. For millions of years annual bird migration from the US, Canada and Mexico have passed through Guatemala and still do.

Basically two types of coffee farming exist. Lowland coffee denudes the countryside of everything but coffee. Pesticides and modern fertilizers pollute the water and air. Animal life is all but non-existent.

Highland coffee, on the other hand, is superior in quality and needs no pesticides or fertilizer. Even more important to the local ecology, shade trees are planted to protect the coffee from the bright tropical sun. These shade trees offer a place for the migratory birds to flourish.

Highland coffee production, such as we have here in Atitlan, is one of the few occasions when the needs of modern man are not fulfilled at the cost of the rest of the species we share this planet with.

10% of sales of Café Atitlán goes to goes to social and environmental projects around the lake and it supports the local economy.

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