Coffee Farms Of Central America / 'Under A Volcano Sky' { 20 images } Created 1 Mar 2020

When I left Massachusetts for Florida, and the corporate photography world, I found my location was suddenly much closer to Central America. I had always had an interest in the photographic themes of industry and its workers from a journalistic point of view. With the move south, my work took on more of an editorial feel and I began exploring the industries of Central America, specifically coffee. With the help from farmers in Costa Rica and El Salvador, I have been able to explore this culture with my camera and share with them their proud coffee traditions. In Costa Rica, the areas I am most familiar with are the canton of Terrazu and its capital of San Marcos de Terrazu, and the Orosi Valley, province of Cartago, both large producers of some of the best coffee in the world. Active volcanoes and surrounding fertile soils with cool mountain temperatures help grow this cash crop. In El Salvador, many of the farms rest uneasily on the sides of active volcanoes, in the northwest part of the country. The growers of coffee in both countries go back generations, and unlike the banana and pineapple fields which are mostly controlled by big business, many coffee farms are a family affair. Big buyers of coffee such as Starbucks have implemented fair trade practices to help these small scale farmers. The labor involved in gathering the coffee cherries is intensive, and as hard as the workers labor, they are treated like family by the farm owners, and gather the crop like they have for many years. The only real mechanization is at the processing plants, where the beans are counted and tested. On the farms life seems to continue without interference from the outside world.
The photography project has the title of 'Under The Volcano Sky', a reference to the volcanic geography found in the coffee growing regions of Central America.
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