Maintaining the Coffee Canopy: Understanding Change and Continuity in Central Veracruz

Heidi Hausermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper examines land-use changes and continuities following historic price declines and withdrawal of government support for coffee cultivation in Veracruz, Mexico. A time series analysis of satellite imagery from the municipalities of Xico and Coatepec was carried out to assess changes in one of Latin America's oldest coffee-producing regions. Two case study communities were selected for in-depth assessment, including semi-structured interviews, household surveys and participant observation. This study demonstrates while small parcels were converted to new land-uses, 82 % of coffee/forest remained intact during the height of the global coffee crisis. I document how smallholders maintained historic agro-ecological spaces in the wake of destabilizing economic reforms. I argue cultural identity and access to new livelihood options combine to subsidize reproduction of coffee forests on the landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-394
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Ecology


  • Coffee
  • Governmentality
  • Land-use/cover change
  • Livelihoods
  • Mexico


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