WHO WE ARE:
UNION DE COMUNIDADES INDIGENAS DE LA REGION DEL ISTMO DE R.I.
Coffee is the oldest organization in the state of Oaxaca, was founded in 1982, with 17 coffee-growing communities interested in improving the production and sale of coffee and farmer welfare, with help from the diocese of Tehuantepec and European NGOs.
Currently comprises of 56 members 2.600 Zapotec and Mixtec communities of central and north of the Isthmus, Chontal southern Chatinos Mixes Coast and the middle and high.
-To be a body that contributes to local indigenous communities, including democracy as a principle, and practical solidarity and unity and consciousness as the axis of development actions and transparency throughout.
-Harnessing the social capital and cultural and natural assets and community.
-Leverage existing structures and create new ones as needs and potential within a framework of respect for Mother Earth.
Generate alternative processes and economic, social and cultural chord time and the field potential and indigenous farmers, to promote the improvement of living conditions of their families, communities and the wider region.
-In coffee communities UCIRI classified as having high and very high marginalization, the population is indigenous Mixe ethnic groups (73%) and Zapotec (22%) 5% the Mixtec up the center and north of the Isthmus, the Chontal South Coast and Chatinos Mixes from the middle and high.
-The partners are indigenous smallholders who grow coffee in extensions from 2 to 5 acres, and corn in plots of 5 to 8 hectares. This will form a production peasant coffee-maize-beans, supplemented by small livestock and backyard gardening, as well as gathering wild plants, traditional practice in the area. Livestock is more important in lower than in the high and average. In the upper, plus coffee and milpa, there is significant production of chile pasilla, which became widespread during the crisis in coffee prices.For families that combine aromatic chile, coffee sales represent about 50% of their income and spicy around 30%.
-The coffee is grown under shade with tropical fruit in a traditional polyculture system, and without chemicals. Cultural practices: clean, harvest, and the pulping and washing the beans are made familiar. It is certainly the most important product of the family economy, since 80% of cash income comes from its sale.
OPERA AS UCIRI?:
-In Union community, there is an internal structure, composed of a community board and delegates elected by their local assemblies.
-56 Boards, meet monthly at our headquarters in Lachivizá, accompanied by delegates who issued the board of directors and supervisory board central executor of the agreements.
-Decisions are made by consensus at all levels, and disseminated through a newsletter.
We participate in our meetings we do monthly. The information we collect shared with all our partners, through newsletters, leaflets and brochures, so we are all informed of progress and setbacks we have in our walk, our elected representatives by consensus and in assemblies, known to us all income and expenses generated by the marketing of our products and the commitments that we have to assume for transparent use of resources.
-The Isthmus of Tehuantepec, is located east of Oaxaca State and represents the fourth of the territory of this entity, which covers about 2.5 million hectares. It comprises 41 municipalities, of which only eleven, located on the north and northwest, there is coffee. In the area sown with this aromatic the Isthmus is the fourth state in the map coffee and fifth place by the number of growers who concentrated.
This mountain-Microregion (Isthmus of Tehuantepec), coffee is grown from the late nineteenth century. The area is strategically located and from the nineteenth century was a privileged channel for commercial traffic between the coasts of two oceans. In 1996 he began to push herself a comprehensive development program called "Mega project of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec." Investment expectations created new dynamics between social groups and productive in the region.
-Currently 60% of the agricultural area of the isthmus is intended to coffee-in gardens with a greater extent than in the rest of the state-30% to 10% corn and other crops such as beans, pasilla chile, fruit and pumpkin.
-The largest UCIRI coffee is between 600 to 900 meters above sea level (masl), 5,000 hectares and is owned 53% of partners. A smaller area 3.700 hectares, but significant 41%, is above 900 meters to 1,500 above the sea, and a much lower is located in lower parts of less than 600 m., Coffee 6% of Unionists .
- WHO INTEGRATE:
- It is composed of indigenous Zapotec, Mixe of the Sierra Mixteca, Chontales and Chatinos Coast of Oaxaca.
All members are small farmers cultivate arabica parchment and chokecherry with organic methods, attached to organic production standards guaranteed by CERTIMEX.
UCIRI, is a pioneer in building alternative markets and co-founder of the Max Havelaar initiative, exports for the first time in 1986 to Holland and Germany.
Currently grouped to 2,600 members of 56 communities, and sell our product under the Fair Trade system.
- HISTORICAL CONTEXT:
- At the end of last century, coffee plantations began to cover the foothills of the Isthmus.Traders aboneros of Ixtepec Ixtaltepec and that provided goods to communities, led farmers to plant coffee, which they then bought and exchanged for other products. The coffee was sold in wet or dry cherry, parchment little. Buyers ended up settling in villages and began to lend money and trust corn on account of the coffee harvest.
- This domain traders and chiefs ended in 1973 when I get the Mexican Coffee Institute (Inmecafe) and the Rural Bank or Banrural. Thanks to these government agencies, small producers had technical assistance, guaranteed prices and especially credit and thus extended their plantation.
The shortcomings of Inmecafe (late payment to producers, excessive discounts in the collection centers) and problems with banks and insurers, soon led to the indebtedness of small farmers.
In the early eighties, eight years after the arrival of Inmecafe, the diocese of Tehuantepec start conceptual work with communities, aimed at breaking the government and private middlemen, and improve the conditions of sale of coffee to improve conditions of life of rural families. The organizational work began in Guevea UCIRI Humboldt and Santa Maria Guienagati, when in 1981 we managed to sell 35 tons of coffee at a good price, which encouraged other producers to organize and the following year five communities joined the collective sale .
So we formed the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region (UCIRI), legally registered at the Secretariat of Agrarian Reform and permit export of coffee and other products.