Marco Antonio Garcia (known locally as Toñio) was born in the village of El Zapote and has been working in coffee his entire life. He began cultivating his own fields at the age of 18. Now in his mid-30s, Marco is married with three children, and they are people of deep religious faith which extends to the care that they take with their production of this coffee. In addition to his family, Marco's coffee is indeed a jewel.
Marco was interviewed for this limited release for RSR and when asked if he had a message for those drinking his coffee, Marco replied, simply: "Drink, enjoy... and buy more." 😀
El Zapote, a small coffee-growing community outside of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras is located at the geographic coordinates of: 14° 48’ 0” N, 88° 47’ 0” W. This region of Honduras receives its name from the magnificent Copán Ruins, an archaeological site of the Maya civilization that lived in the area during the 5th century. Café El Zapote bases its logo off of the ‘Great Plaza’ within the main complex.
Café El Zapote ("Growing Coffee - Brewing Change") is a 501©3 not-for-profit based out of Ames, Iowa, with the sole purpose of supporting coffee farming communities in developing areas in ways including but not limited to buying high-quality coffee at a fair price, expanding wholesale and retail markets to ensure continued growth, and investing all profits in excess back into the communities in which they work with. They strive to provide fair markets for the farmers they work with as well as a high-quality cup of coffee to their consumers.
Café El Zapote currently works with a small association of 21 coffee farmers in the village of El Zapote called Café Hacia El Futuro (Coffee Towards the Future). These farmers have shown us that coffee is more than a product, it’s a story. Through their hard work and dedication, we have seen the significant strides of progress that have been made within the Association, their agricultural systems, and in the communities in which they live. A sip of their coffee will testify to the fruits of their labor!
Café Hacia El Futuro has grown from 14 farmers to 21 in the last six years, which has included 2 additional female producers (rare in Honduras). In 2020 the Association began construction on a new wet-milling coffee processing facility in their village to further legitimize their business, process the Association’s coffee in singularity, reduce environmental impact, and increase economic opportunities within the community.