A Guatemalan Coffee Story

Hard times in coffee land
Carlos Torrebiarte's 280 hectare coffee farm, Finca Santo Thomas Perdido, sits on the lower slopes of Vulcan Toliman (at left). Deforestation by peasant farmers to open up crop land on the steep upper slopes is causing problems with mudslides and drying up of wells further down. The population growth is high among the poor, mostly Mayan, highland population, so pressure to exploit the few forested areas left will continue to increase, resulting in a significant loss of biodiversity.