Costa Rica After Coffee: The Co-op Era in History and Memory
Published by: LSU Press
Imprint: LSU Press
Published: October 2021
Imprint: LSU Press
Page Count: 168 Pages
Illustrations: 20 halftones, 4 graphs, 1 map
Dimensions: 139.00 x 215.00
168 Pages, 139.00 x 215.00 mm, 20 halftones, 4 graphs, 1 map
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Costa Rica After Coffee explores the political, social, and economic place occupied by the coffee industry in contemporary Costa Rican history. In this follow-up to the 1986 classic Costa Rica Before Coffee, Lowell Gudmundson delves deeply into archival sources, alongside the individual histories of key coffee-growing families, to explore the development of the co-op movement, the rise of the gourmet coffee market, and the societal transformations Costa Rica has undergone as a result of the coffee industry?s powerful presence in the country.
While Costa Rican coffee farmers and co-ops experienced a golden age in the 1970s and 1980s, the emergence and expansion of a gourmet coffee market in the 1990s drastically reduced harvest volumes. Meanwhile, urbanization and improved education among the Costa Rican population threatened the continuance of family coffee farms, because of the lack of both farmland and a successor generation of farmers. As the last few decades have seen a rise in tourism and other industries within the country, agricultural exports like coffee have ceased to occupy the same crucial space in the Costa Rican economy. Gudmundson argues that the fulfillment of promises of reform from the co-op era had the paradoxical effect of challenging the endurance of the coffee industry.
[Praise for the Spanish-language edition of Costa Rica After Coffee] Gudmundson?s book . . . is another academic and critical homage to Costa Rica by this historian, a piece of whose heart beats to a marimba, moved by the old, broken-down oxcarts abandoned to their fate on the edges of coffee farms, the same farms where today U.S. and European tourists wander, keen to know how coffee was picked. Diálogos: Revista Electrónica de Historia
[Praise for the Spanish-language edition of Costa Rica After Coffee] [Gudmundson?s] new book, which recovers with particular empathy the memories of those who participated in the cooperative utopia, is a valuable and welcome contribution to studies on coffee in Costa Rica. The Americas
[Praise for the Spanish-language edition of Costa Rica After Coffee] [An] excellent book. . . . We must all be grateful for Gudmundson?s generous, challenging, and timely contribution. Hispanic American Historical Review