La Escuela de la Montaña

un proyecto de la asociación Pa Le Qanil

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La Zona Cafetalera

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The area surrounding the Escuela de la Montaña and the town of Colomba, called the Boca Costa is the home of large coffee plantations, or fincas, which produce the “mountain grown” coffee that is one of Guatemala’s major exports. The workers on the fincas are usually landless rural workers, campesinos, who earn less than $5 per day, without job security or any of the legally-required labour benefits. Increasingly, finca owners find it more advantageous to replace their long-term permanent workforce with contracted workers who have no entitlements to housing, education or other benefits which may have been supplied in the past. In a linked process, daily work assignments are also increasing so that what was a “day’s work for a day’s pay” often now means the equivalent of two or three days’ work for a day’s pay. Workers in Guatemala who attempt to organize are blacklisted, threatened or even killed. Many small communities have been displaced from the fincas losing, in many cases, not just their jobs but also the places which have been their homes for generations. These changes come in response to changing economic and social patterns in the area and particularly changes in the world market for coffee  which have taken place over the last decade.