Santiago Texacuangos, San Salvador

launion 1La Unión Coffee Co-operative began in 1972 with a strong belief in producing coffee without harming the environment. At its peak, La Unión had over 60 members but currently it this number has decreased to 35 - 29 men and 6 women.

Arriving at La Unión, one cannot help but notice the fantastic aroma wafting throughout the building. Alicia Morales Sanchez, a charismatic woman who held presidency of the co-operative until 2008 and has won various international awards for her work and for being the only woman at the head of a coffee co-operative in El Salvador, tells the history of La Unión.

launion 2For Alicia and the members of La Unión, business is only the tip of the iceberg. This co-operative is committed to producing environmentally conscious products. La Unióncoffee is Fair Trade Certified and entirely organic.

The co-operative has a long way to go. One of their principal goals is to be able to sell their coffee at a price that is truly fair to the value of the product. Further, La Uniónstrives to internationalize their sales. Currently, none of their product is sold outside of El Salvador.

With the changing political climate in El Salvador, La Unión sees possibilites for improvement. They hope for increased government support for Agroindustry and increased access to credit and new, increasingly environmentally conscious equipment.

Alicia tells the group, smiling ''It has rained on us like you would not believe...but I know that it has been worth it''