Yesterday, after a 6hr windy bus ride all uphill from Guatemala City to Huehuetenango, and another 3 hour car ride bumping up and down on dirt roads, we finally made it to the luscious coffee mountains and terrain of Concepcion Huista, the town where CODECH is located.
Once we got to CODECH, the director, Don Francisco, introduced us to the accountants and other people that worked there. Luckily for us, we walked in while Marcelo was roasting and grinding some coffee beans, so we were able to smell some of the rich coffee fragrance, drink some fresh brew, and even take a little home!
Today in the afternoon, CODECH had a scheduled meeting with its association/cooperative leaders. So since everyone was gathered, we decided it was a perfect time to present to them the results from the first year team (CCC1.0). We gave a short presentation in the beginning of the meeting going over last year’s research design, research questions, results, and the 16 recommendations developed for CODECH that might be the most appropriate for climate change adaptation strategies and livelihood resiliency. These recommendations were separated into 6 different areas: Management & Compilation of Data, Agricultural Techniques, Training Practices, Strengthening of Cooperatives in the Marketplace, Infrastructure Tools, and Socioeconomic Opportunities. After presenting last year’s results and explaining the 16 different recommendations, there was a lively conversation amongst leaders on what they thought would be the most useful and practical. They decided they needed more time to talk with themselves and to think about all the recommendations before picking the most feasible 3-5 that will become the basis for our research this summer and themes for our future focus groups and interviews. Needless to say, we are excited about what recommendations will be narrowed down as we continue our research here in the highlands of Huehuetenango for 6 weeks and in Guatemala City for a following 2 more weeks!