Though not one of the eight coffee growing regions established by the National Coffee Association of Guatemala (Anacafe), the municipality of Palencia in Guatemala Department (state) is making a name for itself, nonetheless. 17 villages call this part of the mountainous country home, and here agricultural field crops are a mainstay. Coffee cultivation fits right in. Elevation, volcanic soils, and climate are allconducive for the development of specialty coffee.
Palencia, approximately 50 km north of Guatemala City, is included in the Metropolitan region of the country. Maya people, along with the Garifuna, the Xinca and the Ladina form a majority of the population, though Spanish is the dominant language used. Shaken by earthquakes and ripped by warfare, this part of the country has seen hardship and poverty aplenty. Coffee farmers hope that by improving the quality of their crops, they can obtain better prices, and improve the quality of their lives, educate their children, invest in their communities.