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My first visit La Paz in Bolivia

La Paz Bolivia urban life

I met the Bolivian side of my family for the first time in my life when I went to visit La Paz in (2011). Our encounter was very unique. My Bolivian family members and I both spoke in Spanish, but with different accents (I speak with a Dominican accent). It was very funny.

Anyways, below are some pictures from that first trip about 8-9 years ago. If you like them, write a comment below. Also, follow me on social media @cocotucafe for more pictures of my travels to Bolivia and Latin America.

Basilica de San Francisco
Basilica de San Francisco

While I was walking in La Paz city center, this lady and her colorful uniform grabbed my attention. She was into something.

Working woman in La Paz
Working woman in La Paz
evo narco
Evo Narco wall writing

Many were in favor of Evo, but others clearly did not like him.

Restaurant menu La Paz, Bolivia
Restaurant menu La Paz, Bolivia

Beers, cervezas, chelas were mainly served in the big bottles instead of the regular 8oz we are used to in other countries. Huari is my favorite.

Cocotu at Plaza Murillo in La Paz, Bolivia
Cocotu at Plaza Murillo in La Paz, Bolivia
Grandmother's picture cemetery in La Paz
Grandmother’s picture cemetery in La Paz

Abuela I never met. Rest in Peace.

Uncle Rolo visiting cemetery La Paz, Bolivia
Uncle Rolo visiting cemetery La Paz, Bolivia

Cool uncle Rolo hung out with me. We walked together everywhere.

"Cholita" street vendor La Paz, Bolivia
“Cholita” street vendor La Paz, Bolivia

Cholitas are hard working ladies running many types of business around La Paz. They wear cool hats and traditional outfit. Visit La Paz to experience a full experience of culture and fantastic colonial architecture and history.

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Cocotu founder Rudy Guisbert interview

Cocotu founder drinking coffee

After 14 years of being a Systems Administrator, Cocotu (Rudy) decided that he needed a break from the routine and quit his job to travel to Latin America.

Listen to interview using the link below.

https://soundcloud.com/cafeconpam/rudyguisbert

This journey allowed him to meet beautiful people, explore amazing sites and venture into the most extraordinary coffee farms. Rudy found something in common that unites most Latino countries, this is called coffee. Rudy developed a strong bond with a number of farmers and producers across several Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. The more he connected with these farmers, the more he felt responsible for sharing their stories and product with the world.

Now Rudy is an exclusive coffee merchant, he brings coffee directly from small coffee farms in Latin America. Rudy works only in small batches of top-quality beans. The product comes in ready to sell, all the roasting, packaging, and branding is done in Latin America. Rudy is now proud of his company Cocotu because he’s able to offer chemical-free, exclusive coffee beans that are produced through sustainable means.

Listeners, Rudy tells us how he went from working in Corporate America to creating the business of his dreams by traveling to South America.

I hope you get inspired with this one and share it if you think someone you know needs this message.

A special thanks to Cafe con Pam for this amazing interview!

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Bolivian Coffee Latin America Coffee and Brief History

Flag of Bolivia Latin America coffee
La Paz, Bolivia Cocotu Latin America Bolivian Coffee
La Paz, Bolivia by cocotu.com

A population of just more than 11 million and covering around 425,000 square miles of land, Bolivia is one of the more sparsely populated countries in South America. There are wide open spaces throughout, expanding this way and that way as far as the eye can see in every direction, making Bolivia a spot ideal for those tourists who want to reconnect with nature and get a better idea of just what South America can be like in its most natural form. The country is landlocked, surrounded by other South American nations on all sides, and the Bolivian population is more than 70% Mestizo. Bolivian coffee is one of the most underestimated coffee from Latin America.

There are dramatic shifts in the climate of Bolivia from one region to the next. In the western Andes, the climate can reach polar lows, while in the lower-altitude areas, the summers hit extreme temperature highs, a humid tropical climate throughout the areas that catch the winds of the Amazon rain forest. There are deserts, there are subtropical semi-arid areas, and there are desert-polar areas with winds that blow cold and strong. Discover the diversity that is endemic to Bolivia, the diversity that has afforded the plant and fauna in the country to boom into an endless number of varieties.

copacabana crossing on boat
copacabana crossing on boat

It was not until the late 19th century that coffee production really caught on in Bolivia. When it did catch on, however, it caught like a raging fire among dry kindling. There are now thriving coffee industries all around the cities of Bolivia, including La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, and El Beni, and the Yungas have become recognized for the outstanding quality of their beans. By 1908, Bolivia was producing 1.5 million pounds of coffee, exporting all around the world.

When the Aymara people first came to Bolivia around 2,000 years ago, they developed gradually into a powerful, influential civilization, and while estimates vary, some historians have recently suggested that they may have overseen an empire of more than 1.4 million people at their height. It was the Incas, through, who truly built up the area, overtaking the region from the 15th to the 16th centuries, when Francisco Pizarro, Diego de Almagro, and Hernando de Luque conquered what is today the entire western coast of South America stretching into what is today Bolivia.

Cocotu Latin America coffee Bolivian mountains
Yungas, Bolivia by cocotu.com

Most tourists come to Bolivia not for one thing but for multiple things. While La Paz offers all the comforts of a modern city, it is the natural sights that define Bolivia more in addition to its commitment to preserving its indigenous cultures, represented in the recognition of 36 indigenous languages with co-official status alongside Spanish. Take in the sights, witness the history, taste the coffee out of Yungas: this is all part of the Bolivian experience.

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From Cusco to Machu Picchu Experience Pictures in Peru

Machu Picchu cocotu latin america coffee

These are the pictures from Cusco to Machu Picchu in Peru.

While brewing coffee at home I put these pictures experiences together.

Cusco to Machu Picchu
Cusco cocotu latin america coffee
cocotu latin america coffee cusco to machu picchu
cocotu latin america coffee cusco to machu picchucocotucafe_peru
Cusco cocotu latin america coffee
Cusco cocotu latin america coffee
machu picchu cocotu latin america coffee
machu picchu cocotu latin america coffee
machu picchu cocotu latin america coffee
machu picchu cocotu latin america coffee
machu picchu cocotu latin america coffee
machu picchu cocotu latin america coffee
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Latin America History and Coffee Origins

Latin America coffee subscription map and countries

Latin America consists of nineteen sovereign states and several territories and dependencies which cover an area that stretches from the northern border of Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including the Caribbean.

Latin America Coffee

Latin America describes the region that lies below the United States of America all through the continent of South America. These regions were home to ancient civilizations and were later invaded by several European countries that still influence the culture there. But one of the things that Latin America is famous for is their production of the finest coffee in the world. In this article we trace the roots of the most favorable morning drink by billions of people across the world and talk about what people really have to go through to get you that cup of coffee you crave.

machu picchu cocotu latin america coffee
machu picchu cocotu latin america coffee

History and Origins of Coffee in Latin America

Although coffee didn’t originally originate in Latin America, the lovely and aromatic plant spread all the way from Africa and Arabia until it became one of the most famous plants cultivated in the Latin American region.

The geography of Latin America is very suitable for the growth and cultivation of this plant. Latin America is home to countries that produce the largest production of coffee in the world. Today more than 25 million producers rely on coffee production for their daily life expenses. In Brazil more than 5 million people are employed in coffee related industries. The cultivation process is not subject to automation and requires continuous attention. Coffee is a brewed drink that is made from roasted coffee beans. Coffee is acidic and has a stimulating effect on humans because it contains caffeine.

The drink was introduced to the European world in the 17th century by merchants who brought it from the Arabia and was first highly opposed by the Catholic Church. Later on, it gained popularity and the European invaders took the plant to their colonies in Central and Latin America where the plantation process proved to be successful.

Which countries in Latin America produce the largest amount of coffee?

Brazil is the largest coffee producing country in the world with more than one third of the world’s coffee production. The country has been producing Arabica coffee, one of the most popular brands since the 18th century and currently 20 million bags of coffee are produced every year. Colombia is the second coffee producing country in Latin America and the third worldwide.

Panama coffee farm house in Chiriqui
Panama coffee farm house in Chiriqui

The country is known for its high quality Colombian coffee that is worldwide used in the most acclaimed coffee producing franchises and is preferred for its mild well balanced taste. Venezuela is another leading coffee producing country that contributes in the world production of coffee followed by Peru. All these countries offer unlimited work opportunities for people who take part in this industry, from taking care of the coffee beans to preparing the coffee beans and packaging them to exporting them to several countries and coffee manufacturers across the world.

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What does it really take to have that cup of coffee in the morning?

Every time you have your cup of coffee, you will be surprised to know the amount of effort it takes to make. Coffee cultivation requires a lot of hard labor work. It is still a man based farming technique that requires the full attention of growers. From paying attention to the beans to picking them up and processing them, a lot of people have to spend time and effort to ensure that you only get the best type of coffee. But unfortunately, coffee processing goes through a lot of stages that only a very small amount of the money you pay to producers and farmers will actually get to them.

Does fair trade coffee eliminate poverty?

Fair Trade is supposed to grant low income producers with the extra income they need to live a life away from misery and poverty. But despite the efforts that Fair Trade terms try to offer in coffee growing communities, the problem of poverty keeps on affecting many people. The issue is not just about pricing mechanisms. Most of the coffee production comes from small farms between 1 and 10 hectares. For most of these farmers coffee production remains to be their primarily source of income and so they are highly affected by the global fluctuation in coffee prices. Just the minor amount of change in the coffee prices during the harvest season will affect their ability to provide for their families for a whole year.

harvesting coffee at La Convencion Peru
Harvesting coffee at La Convencion

With Fair Trade ensuring that these small scale coffee producers are paid higher prices that will compensate them for the benefits big companies get by offering more desirable lower prices for mass production.  Fair Trade also aims at eliminating middle men between producers and buyers so that they gain the greatest amount of benefit.  It also offers great financial and investment opportunities to small scale producers who will be able to reinvest in their coffee production business and will be able to plan in advance.