Washington Post

Falling coffee prices drive Guatemalan migration to the United States

Angelita Alvarado López's father was a coffee worker who could not support his family after coffee prices fell. He lives in Florida now and sends back money. Foto: Washington Post photo by Sarah L. Voisin

HOJA BLANCA, Guatemala - From his wooden hut in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, Rodrigo Carrillo can see the product of his life savings: A vast green sea of coffee plants, sprouting red berries like tiny Christmas ornaments.

Those plants once seemed a life-changing investment. Carrillo joined a cooperative that sells beans to Starbucks and several certified fair-trade organizations. In Guatemala's fertile highlands, there was no faster way out of poverty than to supply American coffee drinkers...

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