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Bats'il Maya is a micro-industry that was started in September 1993 in Chilo, Chiapas, Mexico. The enterprise organizes indigenous coffee producers so they are not subject to pricing abuse. In this audio interview, COO Alberto Irezabal speaks with Ashkon Jafari, Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent, about the social environment in Chiapas that led to the founding of the organization, and how the co-op works. He discusses the process for organic and fair trade certification, the establishment of coffee stores in Mexico City, and goals for expansion.
Alberto Irezabal Vilaclara is the COO of Bats'il Maya and co-founder and director of Capeltic. While studying industrial engineering, he started volunteering to work alongside indigenous communities in the northern jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. This work engaged him in his project to empower the small coffee producers in the region by reducing the supply chain from field to cup, and giving them access to knowledge so as to control their means of subsistence.