Eta’s Impact on Coffee Farmers

Hurricane Eta continues to dump heavy rain on coffee communities as it makes its way back into the Caribbean Sea. Below is an update from our importer, Cooperative Coffees on the flooding and damages caused by Eta since it first slammed into Nicaragua on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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NICARAGUA

PROCOCER has reported damages to roads in and around Jalapa and Jícaro. Farms and productive areas on certain hillsides have been affected, but not in major growing areas. Most damage has been on roadways that have been blocked by landslides. Some farms have been affected, but most coffee remains on the trees.  Most damages are being reported in the community of Jumuyaca in Jícaro  where some houses have been lost, including that of members, and some basic grain farms.

Las Diosas is reporting damages mostly to roadways in and around the area of Dipilto. Homes and farms have thankfully been spared, but rivers remain swollen and flooding. There was some fear of the local river near their Finca San Pedro HQ flooding their offices, but thankfully it was not the case. Still lots of rain but it is dying down.

CECOCAFEN, despite the heavy rains in Matagalpa, most of the damage has only been on roadways. However in Wiwilí de Jinotega where La Providencia (the main primary cooperative of CECOCAFEN) is located has been battered. The Wiwilí river has spilled over its banks, and there are major damages to homes and roadways. Thankfully there are no reports of lives lost.


Eta's Impact on Coffee Farmers 1
Roadway destroyed in Wiwilí de Jinotega, Nicaragua.

HONDURAS

According to reports from COMSA, Marcala was largely spared from any major damage caused by Eta.  Most of the damages were to roadways with landslides and toppled trees due to high winds. Rain continues until today.

GUATEMALA

Perhaps the biggest impact has been in the Ixil area in Central Guatemala where the Asociacion Chajulense is based. Chajulense communities, particularly the village of Chel has been deeply impacted, as the Chel river has spilled over its banks. The flooding has washed away the main  bridge connecting communities further down the road and they remain outside of communication.

Eta's Impact on Coffee Farmers 2
Flooding in the Guatemalan town of Chajul, where Asociacion Chajulense is based.

The town of Chajul is also heavily affected with rains, with some homes being evacuated for danger of them being washed away by the river. Nearby Nebaj and Cotzal are being affected by landslides mostly affecting roadways.  Although the tropical storm has passed, they still anticipate continued rains for another week.

Eta's Impact on Coffee Farmers 3
Flooding in Chajul, Guatemala.

Communities in San Marcos area, which is further west, near the border with Chiapas, Mexico, are not currently reporting any news of major damage. Producers from the APECAFORM cooperative are based there. During heavy rains, they do expect some road damage and minor landslides, but no reports of major damages yet.


We will continue to share updates as we receive them.

November 6, 2020
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BY Café Campesino
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