Brown Sugar, Roasted Nuts, Orange
The cool, mystical cloud forests of the highlands nurture coffee cherries over long maturation cycles to produce dense, sugary seeds. Beloved for their perennial consistency, shelf-life, balance, and playful acidity, Huehue lots hit the spot for blends and single farm features.
The mountains of Huehue have held our family farm for three generations. These ridges and valleys hold the majority of our producer partnerships, our livelihoods, many of our deepest relationships, and generations of pain, love, and resilience.
Driving north into the Cuchumatanes mountains from the city of Huehuetenango, you'll see a peculiar geographical feature: two large stones jut vertically to face each other on a high, steep mountainside above 3000 MASL. They are called Captzin (or Kab 'Tzin), meaning simply 'two stones' in the indigenous Q'anjobal language.
Before roads and borders cut their way across the rugged, vertical peaks of our beloved homeland, before the first coffee tree was planted, ancestors of our Mayan neighbors walked these mountainsides, telling stories of the land. There's a legend about these stones which has been passed down by indigenous families for hundreds of years, a cautionary tale of love and trickery.
It was the 16th century, and the ruler Kaibil Balam reigned over the Mam nation of Xinabajul from the besieged city of Zaculeu (just outside the modern city of Huehuetenango). Renowned for his kindness and courage, Kaibil Balam was beloved by his people. But he had two weaknesses: his shifty brother Akik Balam, and his beautiful bride, Princess Xinabajul.
Taking advantage of rumors of another siege by the Spanish invaders, Akik tricked the princess into leaving the fortifications to flee for the mountains with him, ostensibly on direct orders from Kaibil. In some versions, Xinabajul fled with Akik in fear. In spicier tellings, the two lovers eloped furtively to the high mountains. Either way, the end was the same: after days of walking along the ridges, the landscape turned from verdant jungle to stony field, and they heard the wrathful whisper of the gods: "You will be turned to stone for what you have done." Akik turned toward her and watched his lover calcify in slow horror, as he felt his feet turn to heavy stone.
Kaibil Balam had sent his soldiers to track his brother and bride, but it was too late. Where the men lost the trace of footsteps, two enormous stones now erupted from the earth. Kaibil was heartbroken-- even from death, he would cover the mountainsides in his tears for centuries.
Today, Captzin is considered an energetic center for Mayan people, and is an important sacred indigenous ceremonial site. Mayan elders visit the rocks to perform rituals, praying for rain and peace. As tragedy brought nutritive rain to the land, the Mayan people stand today despite many challenges, as resilient as ever.
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