Mexico Coffee Immerison

Sierra Norte Mountains April 25 - May 3, 2020

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About This Trip

Join Moka Origins in April/May 2020, for an immersive adventure into the Mexico's coffee farming communities. Located in the Sierra Norte Mountains, this immersion brings to life our commitment towards complete transparency, as we expose the entire coffee supply chain, from planting, harvesting and even traditional roasting. Participants will experience Mexico's thriving coffee culture, village lifestyle, and deep spiritual backgrounds that permeate the communities' lifestyle and farming practices. We will be visiting traditional pilgrimage points of interest, notable Native American ruins, a wellness retreat center located in a crater lake known for its spiritual and mystical healing properties, all ending with time on Mexico's famous white sand beaches for some rest and relaxation.

Coffee, Chocolate and Humanitarian Service

Coffee plays a vital roll in communities around the globe. Yet, although coffee ranks as one of the most popular drinks around the world, its origins remain a mystery to most of us. The impact that coffee has on farmers around the world has traditionally not been highlighted. We are looking to change that. This intimate relationship with the coffee we source is called Direct Trade, and its a practice that Moka Origins firmly stands behind. Through this week in Mexico, we will live in a coffee farming village, as we plant coffee trees, harvest coffee berries, and roast coffee on the farm... it doesn't get more fresh than that! Most importantly, we will highlight how much impact ethically and consciously choosing your coffee can have on these farmers: you will never look at coffee the same way!

The Magical Sierra Norte Mountains

This trip is perfect for coffee fanatics, families, world explorers, and those who are interested in a cultural and environmental immersive experience. The spiritual and historic sites we will visit will inspire awe and wonder, while the intimately tied coffee farms will be educational and life-changing. Come travel with Moka Origins if you are interested in experiencing the unknown parts of Mexico's coffee chain, the spiritual dimensions of their culture, or the relaxing white sand beaches for surf and swim.

On This Trip:

  • We'll explore central Mexico by hiking the forests and swimming in hidden freshwater rivers
  • Learn how coffee is grown and processed
  • Understand the coffee supply chain and how global pricing impacts farmers
  • Taste (a lot) of fresh coffee and chocolate from the Mexico
  • Roast fresh coffee right on the farm using traditional methods
  • Volunteer on local coffee farms and plant, harvest and procress.
  • Learn to make fresh totillas and experience indigious cultures.
  • See how sustainable farming can lend itself to a thriving ecosystem and healthy economy

Places We Will Visit

Puebla City

Puebla City: The city of Puebla, located within the state of Puebla, is one of the five most important colonial cities in Mexico. Due to its history and architectural styles, ranging from Renaissance to Mexican Baroque, the city was named a World Heritage Site in 1987. This city is famous for mole, poblano, chiles en nogada and Talavera pottery; all of which we will experience and explore while within Puebla.


Jonotla: The heart of our journey will take place in the quaint mountain villages of Jonotla. Its rugged terrain is surrounded by volcanic peaks ranging up to 4,000 feet elevation. Founded in 1180, Jonotla is rich with cultural and spiritual significance. There is a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe on the highest point in the community where a her miraculous image appeared in 1922. We'll spend several days in this region hiking, swimming, planting, harvesting, and processing coffee while living with our local family friends in this enchanted little village.


Cueztalan: Located high in the hills of the Serra Norte Mountains, this picturesque town was founded in 1547. The towns friendly atmosphere invites exploration of its cobble stone streets, markets, and local artisan shops.

El Tajin Ruins, World Heritage Site

El Tajin: El Tajin was named a World Heritage Site in 1992, and is one of Mexicos most important pre-Columbian archeological sites. The city flourished from 600 to 1200 A.D; when many temples, palaces, Mesoamerican ball-courts and pyramids were built.

Emerald Coast

Emerald Coast: Off the beaten path and surrounded by lush vegetation lies the wide beaches and clean waters of the Emerald Coast. We'll spend time here relaxing in the calm and inviting waters.

Lake Catemaco

Experience the beauty of the tropical rainforest surrounding Lake Catemaco. Herbs used by traditional shamanic healers grow wild in the area, and more than 550 species of migratory and local birds enliven the forest canopy. Enjoy a relaxing massage, a therapeutic mud bath, traditional Temezcal, and dip in mineral springs.

Mexico City

The capital of Mexico and the most populated city in North American, Mexico City will be an immersion into Mexican culture. Mexico City is also one of North America's oldest capital cities, and one of two cities founded by Native Americans. Here you'll find preserved architecture, great food, and a sense of one of Mexico's most bustling cities.


Tentative Itinerary (April 25 - May 3)

  • Day 1, Saturday April 25: Arrival Into Mexico City
    • Fly into Mexico City and join up with our group before driving to Puebla City.
    • Dinner and overnight in the historical district of Downtown Puebla.
    • Evening Accomidations: Puebla City.
  • Day 2, Sunday April 26: Explore Puebla City and Travel to Jonotla
    • After breakfast, we’ll explore the famous architecture and shops in downtown Puebla.
    • We'll eat lunch at an iconic restaraunt in the Zocolo.
    • After lunch we’ll drive to Jonolta, a small coffee farming community in the Sierra Norte Mountains where we will stay for three nights.
    • Evening Accomidations: Jonotla Town.
  • Day 3, Monday April 27: Jonotla Coffee Farming
    • We’ll reconnect with our old friends and host family in Jonolta, and tour and volunteer on their family coffee farm.
    • After lunch we’ll walk through the village and swim in a naturally formed swimming pool inside the forest.
    • Later, we’ll roast fresh coffee right off of the farm on and open fire while discussing the importance of fair-trade pricing within the coffee sector.
    • Evening Accomidations: Jonotla Town.
  • Day 4, Tuesday April 28: Coffee Farming
    • After a traditionally prepared breakfast, we will undertake a coffee tree planting project.
    • We’ll spend the afternoon in nearby town called Cuetlanazan where we’ll shop and dine.
    • Night in Jonotola
  • Day 5, Wednesday April 29: Travel to Gulf Coast
    • After three nights in Jonotla town, we’ll say goodbye to our new coffee farming friends and depart for the ancient ruins of El Tahin.
    • At this World Heritage site, we will explore the ruins and observe a traditional birdman ceremony called the Papantla flyers.
    • After lunch, we will drive to the Gulf Coast and overnight beachside at the beautiful Costa Esmerelda.
    • Evening Accommodations: Cabarete
  • Day 6, Thursday April 30: Enjoy The Beach Town Of Cabarete
    • Free day in Cabarete. The calm waters, combined with breezy conditions make it ideal to try windsurfing or just relax and read a book.
    • Evening Accommodations: Cabarete
  • Day 7, Friday May 1: Enjoy Cabarete and San Francisco de Macoris
    • Free morning in Cabarete. Plenty of time to explore, swim, cliff jump off waterfalls, or just relax in the sun. We’ll drive back to San Francisco de Macoris for dinner and rest.
    • Evening Accommodations: San Francisco de Macoris
  • Day 8, Saturday May 2
    • We’ll depart from the Dominican Republic having made new friends, we’ll have gained knowledge of cacao production and have tremendous appreciation for the chocolate that we eat. Lastly, you’ll understand the true motivation behind Moka’s mission and why we do what we do.
  • Day 9, Sunday May 3
    • We’ll depart from the Dominican Republic having made new friends, we’ll have gained knowledge of cacao production and have tremendous appreciation for the chocolate that we eat. Lastly, you’ll understand the true motivation behind Moka’s mission and why we do what we do.
    NOTE: This is the tentative agenda, it can change due to time, weather, group energy capacity, or other constraints. All of the activities are optional and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the Dominican Republic.

Click Here to Download a Printable Itinerary


  • Registration ends Feb 1
  • Price: $2,400 per person *

Registration Instructions: Complete our Tour Participant Agreement form (TPA) by clicking the blue "Register Here" button below. Once approved, we will send you a payment link to make your payment (in full) as well as additional information. Please email Jeff at with any questions.

Register Here

*The above rates include ground transportation in the Dominican Republic, accommodations, all meals starting with dinner on arrival night and ending with breakfast on departure day, all coffee and chocolate activities, taxes, and service charges (gratuity is included).

Pricing excludes:

  1. All travel to/from the Dominican Republic. Guests are responsible for getting themselves to Santiago (Aeropuerto Internacional del Cibao) in the Dominican Republic where they will be greeted and transferred to our lodging.
  2. Alcoholic Beverages.
  3. Additional Excursions. The north coast of the Dominican Republic offers excursions, such as kite surfing, surfing, caving, kayaking, zip lines, deep sea fishing, among others, for an additional cost. There is a free day and you may choose to do excursions in lieu of the planned group activities.
  4. Other exclusions may apply and are covered in the Tour Participant Agreement.

About Jeff Abella

This trip will be lead by Moka Origins Co-Founder Jeff Abella, who comes with more than 10 years of international humanitarian experience, both directing projects, as well as leading tour groups abroad. Specialty coffee, craft chocolate, family and empowered communities are key motivations for Jeff. Jeff has been working on international development since 2007. His passion for social entrepreneurship has led him to participate in the establishment of humanitarian projects in West Africa, and Central Mexico and to founding Moka Origins in Pennsylvania. Jeff currently serves as the Director of Global Humanitarian Projects for the Himalayan Institute, and the Managing Director of Himalayan Institute Cameroon. Jeff serves as Chairman of the Sacred Link Foundation, and founded JobLink Cameroon. As CEO of Moka Origins, Jeff manages marketing and brand strategy, while also overseeing relationship and impact at origin.

About Reserva Zorzal

Tucked in the mountain of the Duarte Province in the Dominican Republic, Reserva Zorzal is the first ever cacao producing private reserve in the country. Co-founder Dr. Charles Kerchner and his team at Zorzal work towards greater community development through innovation in agronomy, fermentation, drying and ecological sustainability. Particular to Zorzal Cacao is their mission to continuing conservation of the bird Bicknell Thrush whose native home lies within Reserva Zorzal’s 1,019-acre reserve. About 70% of the reserve is warranted as a “forever wild” sanctuary while the remaining 30% produces cacao, macadamias, and bananas. In partnering with Zorzal Cacao, we seek to participate in the burgeoning cycle of giving back to our earth and its many species.