A view of San Cristóbal.
High in the hills above Ocosingo, a coffee town in Chiapas, Mexico, a young girl stands next to a tarp covered with drying coffee beans.
Today brands such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Starbucks purchase beans in Chiapas. “Before Fair Trade, farmers were on their own, especially in regions like Chiapas where farmers are isolated and lack a network that can help them level the playing field,” said Marie Jo Cook, Chief Impact Officer at Fair Trade USA, an Oakland California-based NGO.
Chiapas, Mexico, is coffee country, supplier of premium beans to boutique coffee brands and major international companies such as Starbucks and Nestle. But Chiapas is, too, home to many of the poorest towns in Mexico, despite concentrated efforts to invest following fair trade and sustainable production guidelines. ALL PHOTOS BY NATHANIEL PARISH FLANNERY.