Most of the people in San Lucas depend directly or indirectly on the coffee harvest. Almost all the land close to the town is planted with coffee bushes.
The harvest season starts in Guatemala at the end of October, but because of the altitude here, the major part of the harvest takes place in December. Most poor families take part in the coffee harvest. In the plantations they can gain $5.00 for every hundred pounds of coffee beans that they pick.
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Guatemala's Coffee Board, Anacafe, says coffee rust has been in the region a long time. But recently, it has become more aggressive.
It's due to climate change, they say. Temperatures are up, and the fungus thrives in hot weather. It attacks the leaves of coffee trees, eventually choking off nutrients to the cherries that encase the beans. And now that it's hotter, the rust has spread to higher altitudes, where it had rarely ventured before, and where Guatemala's finest beans are grown:to areas like San Lucas.
in 2015 the situation has improved: but read what the NY Times wrote about Roya in San Lucas in 2014.