Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ecotourism & Education

Comunidad Nueva Alianza:
Ecotourism Destination & Organic
Coffee & Macadamia

Comunidad Nueva Alianza is an organic coffee and macadamia plantation owned and operated by a cooperative of forty Guatemalan families, located in a sub-tropical area 1000 meters above sea level and 45 minutes north of the coastal town of Retalhuleu. The community is nestled amongst a 300 acre plantation of organic coffee and macadamia trees where large tracts of natural tropical forest have been preserved as well. A walk through the plantation will bring you to cascading waterfalls with crystal clear water, edible and medicinal plants, and breathtaking views of volcanoes Santa Maria (3772m) and Santiaguito - an active volcano which erupts, on average, every hour.

Our cooperative works according to the principles of Direct Democracy and currently boasts within its organizational structure a Women's Committee, an Education Committee, and a Board of Directors dedicated to ensuring that all workers have equal rights.

New Services: Educational Opportunities at Nueva Alianza

Educational Opportunities at Nueva Alianza

Nueva Alianza is a peaceful and beautiful place to bring your students for a wonderful learning and cross cultural experience. Whether it be studying Spanish or completing university coursework with an international twist, Nueva Alianza is the perfect place for you and your students. Our covered patio makes an ideal open air classroom and the hotel provides ample space for students to spread out and study. Please contact us for more information. We are willing to work with you to customize your experience at Nueva Alianza.

Prices for Educational Groups
Lodging in shared rooms with bunk beds for students Q65 night per person
Private Rooms with Private Baths available Price negotiable
Meals, with options for vegetarians (breakfast, lunch, dinner) Q25 to Q50 per meal
Tour of the Community Projects, incl. coffee and macadamia Q25 per person
Tour of the Waterfall through the Subtropical forest Q25 per person
History conference Q25 per person

Other Activities Available for Your Group in Nueva Alianza

Soccer game with the community
Lunch or Dinner with families in the community
Tortilla or Tamale making with a member of the community
Craft making with a member of the community (bracelets, earrings, necklaces using bamboo or seeds)
Cooking classes available (learn to make the traditional dish pepian or learn to find and prepare local plants and herbs)
Collecting macadamia or harvesting coffee with the families

Volunteer Activities

Painting at the hotel or painting a mural
Trail maintenance
Trail design
Cleaning the hotel grounds
Doing a garden project around the hotel
Working in the organic compost facility
Teach the kitchen staff new recipes for meals
Teach a First Aid Class
Making and putting up signs on the trail
Holding a dance class or arts and crafts class for the youth of the community
If any of the students have a special skill that they would like to share with the community (putting on a concert, sharing a musical talent, hair styling, photography, jewelry making, cooking, we are open to hear your ideas)


Ability to rent out the entire hotel for the exclusive use of your group, price negotiable
Friendly staff that has been trained in hygienic food preparation
Adequate study space for the students
Beautiful patio and rooftop terrace to relax or hold yoga classes
Interaction with a friendly community
Extremely safe community
Beautiful views of the volcanoes, subtropical forest with waterfalls, and the Pacific Ocean
Private transportation options available with the community
Public transport to the market in Retalhuleu available daily, 2x every Friday
Community stores available to buy snacks

Weekend Trip Activity Options

Abaj Takalik – Pre-Classical archeological site located 1.5 hours from Nueva Alianza

Finca Patrocinio – Visit a beautiful private macadamia and coffee plantation with a nature reserve. Walk the beautiful trails, look for unique birds from the observation tower, and enjoy a canopy tour (zip line) of the forest on the 4 cables at the plantation. The package includes a snack and wonderful lunch.

Xocomil – Guatemala´s most famous water park, located about an hour from the community. A great way for the students to relax and have fun at the end of the week.

Loma Linda – Visit another working community plantation close by. This is where our coffee is roasted and packaged. Enjoy the nature trails and try to spot the famous Quetzal bird of Guatemala which lives in the forest of this community.

Current Projects

Since receiving legal title in late 2004, we have initiated many projects to generate income to pay off the outstanding debt for our land and to improve the health, education, and living conditions within the community.

1. Organic Coffee and Macadamia Plantation

We are currently growing, maintaining, and processing certified organic coffee and macadamia nuts.
Interested buyers may contact our President Javier Jimenez directly at: or (502) 5348-5290 (Spanish only).

2. Ecotourism

The community offers many attractions for tourists such as: a hike to two beautiful waterfalls, a tour of our community projects, including the biodiesel and coffee processing plants, and information about our edible and medicinal plants. Also, from the hotel, there are spectacular views of the active volcano Santiaguito and sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.

3. Micro Hydroelectric Plant and Biodiesel Project

Isolated from the main electricity grid, we have been forced to find creative solutions for our energy needs. We have opted for environmentally sustainable projects to provide our office, homes, and various processing plants with power. Our micro hydroelectric plant utilizes the natural springs on the property and provides the entire community with electricity.

Thanks to the support of Matt Rudolf, who installed our first system, we are able to make biodiesel here on the plantation to operate our diesel generator and diesel trucks. Currently, the biodiesel is made from used cooking oil purchased from nearby restaurants. Our operation is capable of producing up to 150 gallons per week.

4. Agua Pura Alianza

Taking advantage of natural springs within the community, we are selling purified water in towns and cities nearby. Our process is environmentally friendly and we are competing with other large, national producers based on the high quality of our water source and purification standards.

5. Bamboo Furniture and Arts and Crafts Workshop

In-line with rest of our projects, construction with bamboo is environmentally friendly because bamboo regenerates very quickly and does not require much land to grow. The workshop produces items such as: bookshelves, dinner tables, reclining chairs, large and small mirrors, and custom-made requests as well.

The workshop also makes artisanal crafts such as: necklaces, bracelets, rosaries, earrings, and bamboo souvenirs. The crafts are made with materials such as bamboo, seeds, and macadamia that come from within our property.


For generations our plantation was owned and managed by one individual land owner. In the 1990s, due to the global fall of coffee prices and poor management, we were not paid wages for a total of 18 months and barely survived. Consequently, we united and initiated a long legal process against the owner for those unpaid wages. During this legal process the owner declared bankruptcy and it appeared that we would lose everything. We were forced to form an independent workers union in a desperate effort to retain the land our parents and grandparents had worked. With a loan from Fondo de Tierras, we purchased legal title to the plantation on December 18, 2004.

Come visit to hear the entire compelling story of our struggles and triumphs.

Contact Us

For more information, to make reservations, or to offer technical support please contact us at:

Email: - English or Spanish

Reservations: (502) 4532-3063 - Spanish only
Rosa Gonzales, Hotel Administrator: (502) 5801-7849 - Spanish only
Javier Jimenez, President: (502) 5348-5290 - Spanish only


Check out Comunidad Nueva Alianza on Google Earth

No comments:

Post a Comment