The Magic of the Sierra Norte Mountains
Join Moka Origins in May 2020, to Puebla and Veracruz, for an immersive adventure into Mexico's coffee farming communities. Located in the breathtaking Sierra Norte Mountains, this journey brings to life our commitment towards ethical trade, as we experience the entire coffee supply chain, from planting, harvesting and roasting. We will also dive into Mexico's deep spiritual heritage while visiting traditional pilgrimage points, exploring Native American ruins, and visiting at a traditional wellness retreat center run by local “curanderos” (tradition healers). We will also spend time on Mexico's famous white sand beaches and enjoy some rest and relaxation.
Coffee, Chocolate and Service
Although coffee ranks as one of the most popular drinks around the world, its origins remain a mystery to most of us. The impact we create by choosing ethically traded coffee is not highlighted enough, and farmers who rely on their crops for income can be left in poverty by our choices to consume low quality beans. We are looking to change that by making you a part of the supply chain. 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. you will never look at coffee the same way! This trip is perfect for coffee/chocolate fanatics, families, explorers, and those who are interested in a cultural and environmental immersive experience.
Enlivening and Enlightening
Optional meditation, asana, and yoga nidra practices will be infused throughout the week to heighten our awareness of the beauty and energy of the region and the people. We will use asana to keep our bodies attuned for service and adventure, relaxation practices for rest and nurturance, and mediation to assimilate the vibrance, abundance, and grace this experience has to offer.
- Hike in central Mexico’s forests and swim in hidden freshwater rivers
- Experience how coffee is grown, roasted and enjoyed locally
- Learn about the coffee supply chain and see first-hand how global pricing impacts farmers
- Taste (a lot) of fresh coffee and chocolate from Mexico
- Roast beans right off of the farm using traditional methods
- Volunteer on local farms to help plant, harvest, and process coffee
- Make fresh tortillas and experience indigenous culinary cultures
- See how sustainable farming can lend itself to a thriving ecosystem and healthy economy
Places We Will Visit
Located within the state of Puebla, this city is one of the five most important colonial places 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.
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 her miraculous image appeared in 1922. We'll spend several days in this region hiking, swimming, planting, harvesting, and processing coffee while living near our local family friends in this enchanted little town.
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, cafe's and local artisan shops.
Ruins of 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.
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, swimming, surfing in the clear and inviting waters.
The Gulf Coast
The coast to the North of the port of Veracruz offers pristine beaches with abundant vegetation. Its golden sand and emerald-green waters along the Gulf of Mexico will make you lose yourself in the exuberance of Veracruz. The calm waves are perfect for swimming or diving.
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 (Sat, May 2 through Sun, May 10)
- Day 1, Saturday May 2: Fly into Mexico City (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México)
- Arrival into Mexico City and join up with our group at the Mexico City Airport. Depart as a group to Puebla City. About a 3 hour drive.
- Dinner and overnight in the historical district of Downtown Puebla City.
- Evening Accommodations: Puebla City Hotel.
- Day 2, Sunday May 3: Explore Puebla City and travel to Jonotla Town
- After breakfast, we’ll explore the famous architecture and shops in downtown Puebla City.
- We'll eat lunch at an iconic restaurant on the downtown Zócalo square.
- After lunch we’ll take a scenic 4 hour drive to Jonolta town, a small coffee farming community in the Sierra Norte Mountains where we will stay for four nights in the company of our old Himalayan Institute friends.
- Evening Accommodations: Hotel in Jonotla.
- Day 3, Monday May 4: Coffee Farm Volunteering
- 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 an open fire while discussing the importance of fair-trade pricing within the coffee sector.
- Evening Accommodations: Hotel in Jonotla Town.
- Day 4, Tuesday May 5: Tree Planting and Day Trip
- After a traditionally prepared breakfast, we will undertake a coffee tree planting project.
- We’ll spend the afternoon in nearby town called Cuetzalan where we’ll shop and dine.
- In Cuetzalan we will visit a local not for profit run by a group of tradional healers and participate in an optional Temescal and get traditional massages.
- Evening Accommodations: Hotel in Jonotla.
- Day 5, Wednesday May 6: Mountain top hike and caves
- We will team up with a kids club and take on some art projects as a group
- Afterwards we will hike to the famous El Pinon. This Mt top is an iconic pilgrimage point known for the miraculous appearance of the virgin of Guadalupe.
- After lunch we will have free time to pack up and enjoy the town one last time.
- Evening Accomidations: Hotel in Jonotla.
- Day 6, Thursday May 7: Travel to the Gulf Coast
- After four inspiring 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: Hotel on the Gulf Coast.
- Day 7, Friday May 8: Explore the Emerald Coast
- We’ll have a full day for swimming, surfing, exploring the coast or just relaxing and reading a book.
- Evening Accommodations: The Emerald Coast
- Day 8, Saturday May 9: Travel to Mexico City
- After breakfast we will travel to Mexico City through the beautiful country sides
- Check into our hotel
- Take a tour of the iconic Mexico City
- Special farewell dinner party with traditional Mexico cuisine
- Day 9, Sunday May 10: Departing Flights From Mexico City (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México)
- We'll catch our flights home from Mexico City.
- Registration ends Jan 15, 2020
- Price: $2,250 per person (excludes airfare) *
- An $850.00 deposit per person will secure space. Balances must be paid by Jan 15, 2020. *
- Please wait to book airfare until the tour organizer confirms our minimum person requirement has been meet. (No later than Jan 15) *
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 Jeff@mokaorigins.com with any questions.Register Here
*The above rates include ground transportation in Mexico, 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).
- All travel to/from Mexico. Guests are responsible for getting themselves to Mexico City Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México) in Mexico where they will be greeted and transferred to Puebla City.
- Alcoholic Beverages.
- Additional Excursions.
- Other exclusions may apply and are covered in the Tour Participant Agreement.
Jeff Abella, Moka Origins
This trip will be lead by Moka Origins Co-Founder Jeff Abella, who comes with more than 12 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.
Linda Domino, Sacred Trails
Linda Domino will serve as yoga guide for this journey. She has been a friend of Moka Origins since guiding her first retreat at the Himalayan Institute in early 2018. Linda has been practicing and teaching yoga and mediation for nearly 20 years and has guided numerous yoga retreats. She attended the inaugural Origin Trip to the Dominican Republic this past June. It was transformational, and inspired her new venture, Sacred Trails, committed to curating gatherings, events, and conscious travel experiences that inspire inner growth and awakening! Linda embraces travel and immersive cultural experiences as a way to see ourselves and others with renewed clarity, love and compassion. She believes it awakes our sense of purpose and unity and she is eager to share it with others!