Two billion cups of coffee are drank daily around the world, and it has become a part of our daily life, culture and expression. A cup of coffee facilitates communication, allows us to share moments with friends, colleagues and even strangers. For many of us, coffee is our morning partner, the one that gives us the much needed strength to start the day, or even go the extra mile at night when we strive to stay sharp and focused. However, very few of us have really ever seen where the coffee journey begins.
Guatemala is known for producing one of the world’s best coffees. What makes its coffee so special is Guatemala’s high altitudes, rich soils and over 300 different micro climates.
Still, what Mathieu Hutin really discovered during the years he spent in Guatemala, was revealing: what trully makes Guatemalan coffee so special is the dedication, energy and passion its people put into growing and harvesting their beans.
Guatemala is a country of strong contrasts and extreme diversity in many aspects, including socially and culturally. This beautiful diversity made it difficult for Mathieu to find a common story to describe Guatemala, until he discovered the coffee community and their story.
Coffee is grown in almost all the regions of Guatemala. It is part of everyday life for millions; some travel hundreds of kilometers with their families over the course of the harvest season, others inherit and transmit their knowledge and passion from one generation to another. Today Guatemala has over 125,000 coffee producers. These producers spend the entire year looking after their coffee plants, to sell every single bean at the end of the harvest season. For many, coffee is the main -if not the only source of income. Unlike us, they will never enjoy the taste of their coffee, nor will they ever experience the vast diversity of Guatemalan coffee.
Through his work, Mathieu celebrates and show his respect to the hard manual work behind the various stages of growing coffee. His photography highlights the beauty of human diversity and resilience in a world that pushes us into becoming ever more homogeneous and identical, forcing us to lose or identity.