The ideal conditions for coffee beans to thrive are found around the world along the equatorial zone called “The Bean Belt,” located between the latitudes 25 degrees North and 30 degrees South. Farmers in Honduras harvest coffee from October to February, so about four to five months. While we are drinking coffee year-round, how do the farmers who grow the beans pay the bills or have enough money to buy food for the rest of the year?
Candida Lopez Garcia and her two sons Pedro and Alberto grow coffee in Opatoro, an area close to the coffee cooperative in Marcala I’ve talked about in earlier stories. When I visited the Garcia farm, the oldest son Pedro was harvesting coffee beans at a field at another location. Their small, cement house and storage sheds were on top of one of the many mountains in the southeast region of Honduras. It wasn’t like a typical farm in the United States, nestled in a valley with level land. The family garden was on uneven ground which can be difficult to grow food while retaining water and soil.