After an entire day of travel (just look how happy we are in the Houston airport!), we arrive in Guatemala City, the largest metropolis between Mexico City and Bogota’ (4 million people live here). Our plan of attack (besides relying entirely on our hosts, the Martinez family from Finca Vista Hermosa) is to spend the night here, tour Anacafe the next day, and then drive six hours to Huehuetenango before heading up to the farm. Thus begins part 1 of our saga:
We have an early appointment at Anacafe, the Guatemalan coffee growers’ association. When I first heard of Anacafe, I figured we’d be going to some kind of timeshare presentation where we would be told how we should only ever consider buying Guatemalan coffee. Don’t get me wrong, we think it’s great, but I was wary of exactly who this organization was benefiting. Thanks to a wonderful presentation by the knowledgeable William Hempsted, my opinion turned a 180, and we all left impressed by the work (and the architecture — check out this atrium!) at Anacafe.
Anacafe is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the coffee growers of Guatemala in a variety of ways; from coffee, soil, and plant analysis, to promotion and marketing, to being the hosts of the Cup of Excellence competition and auction. It has massive scope, and snazzy headwear (sorry Perry, I couldn’t help myself)!
All 15 of us then piled into a couple of vans and hit the road to Huehuetenango (which is Mayan: tenango means “place of” and huehue means “water,” “mountains,” and “resting place”). We crossed the highest point on the PanAmerican highway (10,000ft!) and descended into Huehue just past sunset. One amazing meal and a good night’s sleep later, we woke up with the sun on our faces and the bustling streets of Huehue reflected in our eyes. The Saturday market is a treat… add 30 stories and some neon lights and it looks like Hong Kong, ha!
The Guatemalan people are perhaps the most sincerely friendly people I have ever met. And they definitely get away with wearing brighter colors than us Seattlites! Check out this flair:
However, can they make a phone call and sip on a Victrola cup at the same time like Lindsay, here? Probably not…
Enough messing around, already! Next stop, the Finca Vista Hermosa… stay tuned for Part 2.