Scientific research in Guatemala


General Information 

Project type:
Scientific research



Field research conducted from 2013 to 2017. The publication of a book with the results is pending.

Coffee production sector, scientific sector, communities in general.

Associated organizations:
FIIT, BIGU Herbarium of the School of Biology, University of San Carlos de Guatemala.



About the project

The development of a guide for the identification of plants in coffee farms certified by the Sustainable Agriculture Network Standard (SAN) in Guatemala, aims to contribute to scientific research by demonstrating the importance of coffee plantations as habitat for different species, as well as the importance of cultivating this product under shade and protecting the associated natural ecosystems.

The project included listing and characterizing the parasitic, aquatic, saprophytic and epiphytic liana, herb, shrub and tree species present in 18 farms and two certified groups. It also determined the presence of threatened, endangered and endemic species, and a guide was designed for their identification.

Project results were shared with the coffee production sector to develop better policies for production and conservation.

FIIT is the organization that is in charge of conducting certification audits for the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal in Guatemala. As compensation for the sector, it decided to restart scientific research activities.


The producers received the idea enthusiastically and this is how the project came to be, with the inclusion of new sampling points for the BIGU Herbarium and for Guatemala, since all the sites included in the research were to be studied for the first time.

The publication of the research results in a book will help producers and the community in general expand their knowledge about species richness in shade coffee farms, so that they can provide the protection required, especially for endemic, threatened and endangered species.

The research found:

  • 154 families and 1,033 species (corresponding to 52.45% of the families reported for Guatemala)
  • 12,553 photographic records
  • 8 new records
  • Endemic species: 24
  • 53 species included in the Red List and in the index of the National Council of Protected Areas