Tzeltales are one of the main Mayan sub-groups that had survived until now. They live in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Nowadays almost 300,000 persons speak Tzeltal as their mother tongue, being bilingual is very common among them, they usually speak Spanish and Tzeltal.
Cultural richness is obvious in this communities, it can be appreciated in clothing, social rituals and religion. UCIPA is established in 2000, with 24 founders, all of them from Pantelhó. The objective was to organize themselves in order to get better trading opportunities. Nowadays it has expanded to Chenalhó, Cancuc, Mitontic, Tenejapa and Simojovel. One of the main requirements to belong to this organization is to apply the established wet mill process, like fermentation time, selection of beans and dry mill.
In México, there is a system called “customs and traditions”, a way of self government that some municipalities with ethnic population of this zone practice to rule the community life. Ethnic communities in Chiapas use to live isolated, in high poverty level, lack of education and medical assistance. Zapatista Movement is the result of this conditions, this project has three foundations: Education, medical assistance and collective development. Most of the municipalities of Chiapas highlands are still members of Zapatista Movement.
For more than 20 years Exportadora de Café California has been working in this area, supporting the coffee
producers with technical assistance, buying and
promoting their coffee. Exportadora de Café California
has been encouraging and supporting the producers to renew all their plantations because we believe that with a major volume and better quality, the coffee will be better sold and that will impact directly to the coffee producers, improving their living conditions.
Coordinates GPS: 17°00″N y 92°29′ W
The weather is semi-humid and warm with abundant rain falls in summer. This area has oak forests. Rivers and streams feed the Catarina River that seats in the north of the region and is well known around.