Organic Coffee Co-op
Beneficial microorganisms are used worldwide to remediate damaged soils. The land around lake Atitlan has been so damaged by chemical fertilizer use that the majority of the land can no longer support agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers or a complete remediation. Repopulating the beneficial microorganisms in the soil is the fastest and most effective way to remediate damaged soils to transition to sustainable organic farming practices and is used worldwide to do so.
LAEIG proposes to immediately address the main problem of chemical contamination — non-organic coffee farming — by providing needed equipment to the 175-member organic coffee farming cooperative, Cafe Maya Chacaya Atitlán (APROCAMCA), so they can transition another 217 farmers to organic coffee growing. We will also help the cooperative to greatly improve the quality of its compost through addition of EM and hydrilla (an invasive plant harvested from the lake by volunteers), resulting in higher yields and higher-value products.