The Soconusco Region & Coffee

Soconusco Chiapas

The highest peak in Chiapas is the Tacaná Volcano at 4,800 meters above sea level. The Soconusco region encompasses a coastal plain and a mountain range with elevations of up to 2000 meters above sea levels paralleling the Pacific Coast. In accordance with an 1882 treaty, the dividing line between Mexico and Guatemala goes right over the summit of this volcano. The climate is tropical, with a number of rivers and evergreen forests in the mountains. This is Chiapas’ major coffee producing area, as it has the best soils and climate for coffee. It would become the first area to produce coffee, introduced by an Italian entrepreneur on the La Chacara farm. Mexico produces about 4 million sacks of green coffee each year, fifth in the world behind Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Coffee is cultivated on the slopes of these mountains mostly between 600 and 1200 meters. Most producers are small with plots of land under five hectares. From November to January, the annual crop is harvested and processed employing thousands of seasonal workers. Lately, a number of coffee haciendas have been developing tourism infrastructure as well allowing international visitors to learn about how the world’s most popular drink is derived.