Photographer Pieter Bas Bouwman is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Coffee farmers of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta’. To see Pieter ’s body of work, click on any image.
San Javier is a village on top of a mountain ridge dressed in clouds in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia . There is only one road with houses on each side. Horses and mules were passing through carrying large coffee bags, children were playing around, and the elderly were relaxing while the adults took care of the coffee. Coffee beans were scattered everywhere. Being laid out to dry in the sun in front and behind their houses, next to the side of the road or stacked in big 70 kilo bags in warehouses. Everything revolves around coffee in these small villages.
The farmers producing coffee, on steep mountain hills, also observe soil preservation practices, making room for ecological diversity while increasing their local ecosystem’s sustainability. Their philosophy of life, that of eco-friendly production and associated work, has allowed them to tread into different sustainable production schemes that help the certification such of Organic and Fair-Trade processes.
Generations of coffee farmers in the Sierra Nevada are sustaining an environment that’s providing for a large quantity of the worlds coffee without suffocating under pressure of the demand of western civilization. The resilience and their connection with the environment are something beautiful to behold!
All images and text © Pieter Bas Bouwman
By Pieter Bas Bouwman