Municipalities: Ángel Albino Corzo, El Parral, La Concordia, Montecristo de Guerrero, Villa Corzo, Villaflores
State / Province: Chiapas
Region: Chiapas Norte
Coop: EK BALAM
Altitude MASL: From 900 to 1,700
Main varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Mundo Novo, Caturra, Catimor, Marsellesa, Costa Rica 95, Oro Azteca, Sarchimor
Harvest: December to March
Main process: Washed
Located in the center of the Chiapas state, La Frailesca or Fraylesca is characterized by its important agricultural activity, especially its high production of corn, and is therefore considered the granary of Chiapas. The Frailesca region is part of the physiographic regions of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas and the Central Depression; the relief of the terrain is mainly formed by mountains and valleys. The most distinct mountains of the region are Tres Picos 2,439 m., El Cebu 2,227 m. and San Vicente 2,134 m.
The predominant climates are the warm sub-humid climate with summer rains and the semi-warm humid climate with abundant summer rains.
Cultural & Ecological Characteristics
Thanks to the presence of roads, most of the locations are distributed in the central portion of the region from northwest to southeast. In addition to the roads’ pattern, the population of the valleys is also related to agricultural activity, while at the beginning of the mountain, cultivated pasture crops can be observed.
The map of the agricultural industry and plantation crops shows the presence of coffee production, generally at high altitudes in the mountains, located in the south-southeast zone of the region. Businesses dedicated to the grinding and roasting of coffee are mostly established in the municipality of Villaflores. There are also establishments dedicated to the production of chocolate and cornflour.
The vegetal cover of the region is mostly composed of secondary vegetation (coniferous forest, mountain mesophilic, and oak, deciduous forest, subcadocifolia, and perennifolia), coniferous forest, and mountain mesophilic forest.
The fauna that we can find in this region include snakes, rock iguanas, weasel, bats, flying squirrels, field deer, mountain suckers, pajuil and cacomiztle (picture bellow), boa, tropical rattlesnake, roadrunner, grated owl, tlacuache, skunk, goat deer, white hawk, lion, and wild boar, among others.
3,169.69 square meters of the Frailesca is under conservation, which constitutes 43.83% of the region’s protected area.
Typica, originating from Ethiopia, was the first variety of coffee imported in Mexico at the end of the 17th century. It is locally considered a standard variety with relatively large beans, superior cup quality, rusticity to adverse conditions (such as low fertility and drought), but unfortunately not resistant to the rust disease. 30.27% of the coffee plants of the Frailesca region are Typica.
Caturra (18%) is another genotype cultivated in the region, in addition to Catuai (11.33%), Catimor (6.33%), and Mundo Novo (5%). The Catimor is currently preferred by organic coffee producers. Tolerance to the rust Hemileia vastatrix has been observed, a disease that is currently devastating coffee production.
We also observe that organic and fair trade farmers have more land under cultivation and, in some cases, higher profits than non-certified farmers. This indicates the existence of a cooperation model among producers based on trust which increases the social capital in the coffee regions, revaluing the knowledge of the coffee ecosystem and local identity, a key figure in the production process.