Chirrepeco

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The Chirrepeco cooperative is one of those succesful stories of a Mayan community.

This Q’eqchi’ community takes its name from a sacred cave where ancient maya performed ceremonies and left offerings on its soil for their gods and ancestors.
The cave still in use to this day for ceremonial purposes for the community.

The plantation belonged to a German immigrant who started planting tea among other commercial products.
In the eve of WW II, the Guatemalan government, in submission to the U.S. of A. Government, expropriated his property and those of the German community living in the country.
It wasn’t until the mid 1960s that the government granted ownership to the former workers of the plantation who were still living on it.
Now days, about 250 families contribute to the white and black tea production. Families are in charge of maintenance of, equally distributed, sections of the tea fields. Others work on the picking and drying process of the leaves, about two dozens women are in charge of the packing and others are in charge of the guided tours.
Only distributed for the national market, the community is actively seeking to expand their distribution to markets in the U.S. of A. and other countries.

© 2016, Eli Orozco. All rights reserved.

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