Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Third Wave Coffee and Maya Farmers in Guatemala

April 1st, 2016
4:00 PM

Dinwiddie Hall 102

Join us for a talk by Edward (Ted) Fischer, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University. In this talk, he discusses that coffee production in Guatemala has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last twenty years. Changing tastes among northern consumers have driven new demand for high-quality ‘third wave’ coffees that are grown at high altitudes. As a result, many of the large, lower-altitude plantations long synonymous with coffee in Guatemala have abandoned production, moving into rubber, African palm, and other crops. At least 50,000 mostly smallholding farmers in the highlands have begun growing coffee to fill this market niche.

In this talk, Fischer proposes a multidimensional approach to development and wellbeing. He shows how smallholding Guatemalan producers’ desires for a better future orient their engagement with this new market. Most of these small producers live in very modest circumstances with limited resources and opportunities. Yet, as they describe it, coffee represents an opportunity in a context of a few opportunities, an imperfect means to a marginally better life.

Sponsored by the Tulane Anthropology Student Association (TASA). Please email for more information.

Central America + People
Suyapa Inglés
SCLAS Assistant Director of Administration