Coffee in Guatemala

  • Luisa Fernanda Moreno Ruiz


Coffee is one of the most important commodities in the Guatemalan national economy. The indigenous population, originally the owners of the land, provides the major labour force. Until the 1950s, forced labour was the rule, usually in a situation of indebtedness. On many occasions, physical force was used (Argueta 2001). According to OPS (Pan-American Health Organisation), around one million workers from the Guatemalan Altiplano (highlands) migrate every year to the southern coast to work on fincas (plantations), where they harvest coffee, among other crops. An estimated half a million children accompany their parents every year (Guatemala Ministerio de Trabajo y Previsión Social 2001). In addition, there are those children who permanently live on plantations with their parents and those who grow up in communities of small coffee producers. These three different modes of labour relations will be investigated in this case study.


Child Labour Heavy Load Coffee Plantation Migrant Child Migrant Family 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Society FoundationUtrechtThe Netherlands

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