Campesinos Ecologicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas S.C.
CESMACH is a coffee cooperative located in the buffer zone of El Triunfo, made up of 600 campesino families from the communities of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, Mexico. 

Families have joined efforts in the search for better living conditions for families, always respecting Mother Nature. They are developing and showing a way of doing agriculture that is compatible with the use of natural resources and with the social and economic development of poor communities, in order to contribute the improvement of relations with nature and among men, through an ecologically sound, socially just, economically profitable, and technically viable agriculture.


PRODECOOP is a cooperative organization of the second degree that brings together 38 grassroots cooperatives made up of 2,300 small producers — 27% are women.

The producers are located in different communities and coffee zones of the departments of Esteli, Madriz, and Nueva Segovia, in the north of Nicaragua.

Services such as marketing, cooperative development that includes technical assistance, training, credit, institutional strengthening of cooperatives, improvement of coffee quality and social projects are provided.

PRODECOOP is a certified cooperative organization, 100% of the partners work with Fair Trade, since 1992 we are exporting directly to the international market.  On average we export 30,000 bags of coffee, of which 50% of the total volume is organic.


The seven organizations united in this project represent a transdisciplinary team based on established relationships of trust, which are fundamental to taking on the dynamics of power and privilege that undermine many north/south collaborations. While history has created fertile ground for this Participatory Action Research (PAR) project, it is still important to set up systems that promote open communication and bring forward voices and perspectives that are often sidelined. To achieve this we are organized into three work teams: the CORE TEAM and two COUNTRY TEAMS

The core team is comprised of all research leads who assist in keeping the project goals consistent and maintain communication across the project sites. Two Country Teams (Mexico – MX and Nicaragua – NI) are comprised of select Core Team members, the local universities (students and faculty), cooperative leadership and farmer members, whose purpose is to organize contributors by geography, facilitating communication and planning with representatives from all stakeholder groups in each project site. The Project Coordinator (Martha Caswell) from the University of Vermont is the liaison, coordinating among all of the teams and with the funding agencies.

All university partners will participate in data processing, analysis and synthesis, with significant participation from CAN, in translating the findings so that cooperative representatives are full participants in the interpretation and validation of results. CAN (Maria Eugenia Flores Gomez), as lead of knowledge sharing/capacity building will ensure the participation of cooperative members in research design and will support the recruitment and training of promoters from the cooperative as field researchers. CAN will also lead coordination of the farmer exchanges between the two research sites. All partners will contribute to the development of different publications for the targeted audiences.