History of Coffee in Chiapas, Mexico

January 1, 1997 by Gregory Gough

map showing Chiapas, Mexico

The impoverished state of Chiapas, in Mexico and bordering Guatemala, is an important source of coffee. Efforts to modernize coffee agriculture in the area resulted in greater production.

Unfortunately, a fall in coffee prices in the 1990s caused the abandonment of coffee farms and contributed to civil unrest.

Coffee farms that were not modernized, and continued to grow coffee in the traditional way, as a shrub under a canopy of trees, have fared better as the tree canopy provides alternate forms of income (such as fruit and timber).

This article summarizes the information in this scientific paper:

Rice, R.A. 1997. The land use patterns and the history of coffee in eastern Chiapas, Mexico. Agriculture and Human Values, 14: 127-143.

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