Yepocapa is inhabited by smallholder coffee farmers who are highly dependent on coffee for their incomes. The region is located at the base of the Fuego Volcano and was drastically affected by the recent eruptions, which occurred in February and June of this year. Our good friend, Taya Brown, has spent countless hours researching this region as part of her Ph.D. studies at Texas A&M University within the Center for Coffee Research and Education. Our founder, Chas Studor was fortunate enough to accompany her on a visit to Yepocapa in December of last year, where he was introduced to some of the coffee farmers and got a fist-hand look at their triumphs and tribulations (Learn more about our founders’ trip to Yepocapa). After the June 3rd eruption caused widespread damage to the coffee plants and maturing beans, Taya realized there is a need for an organization focused on the long-term success of these people. Thus, The Del Fuego Project was born.
We invite our friends, family, partners, clients, and customers to join us in not only aiding but empowering the resilient people of Yepocapa and we thank you in advance for your support.
A MESSAGE FROM CHAS & TAYA
“I was fortunate enough to have Taya Brown introduce me to many farmers in Yepocapa during my origin trip last December. The farmers explained some of the challenges they face to grow coffee and get it to market.
As Taya and I talked after the volcano eruption, it became clear that her specific knowledge of their needs and her passion to help the farmers created the perfect opportunity for Briggo’s first origin initiative. This is just one element of “Connected Coffee”. The whole company is excited about this effort, and I invite you to join us in supporting Taya’s critical work.” – Briggo founder & CTO, Chas Studor
“I’ve been working with these six communities for the last three years as part of my Ph.D. research and have been constantly inspired by their genuine, kind and hardworking nature. They love working in coffee, but they face just about every obstacle you can name. When the volcanic eruption damaged this year’s crop, just as the farmers and their families were beginning to recover from the losses they sustained during the coffee leaf rust epidemic and subsequent drought, they began to seriously doubt if they could continue in coffee. This was a heartbreaking moment and right then I knew I had to do something to help change the situation. With help from some good friends, I started The Del Fuego Project, which is focused on supporting the Yepocapa farmers through science, education, and access to more direct markets.
When Chas came to visit us last year, he got to see the farmers’ hard work and integrity first hand. Introducing him to the region was a rewarding experience for everyone which we hoped to build on. When the volcano erupted he was one of the first to ask how the farmers were doing and what he could do to help. I am so excited to now be working together with Chas and the Briggo Team, to bring needed resources to the farmers as they navigate this year’s low prices and lost production, and to aim for more stability in future years.
The world needs good coffee and these farmers love to produce it. With support from Briggo and others with the same dedication to quality coffee and quality of life for those who produce it, we can truly make a lasting difference that will help preserve the future of coffee.” – Doctoral Student at Texas A&M University & The Del Fuego Project Founder, Taya Brown