Marcala cooperative RAOS (tel. 504/764-5181, mielpez37 [at] gmail [dot] com, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–11 a.m. Sat.) has its office two blocks from the park, where you can pick up bags of their organic coffee, handmade soaps, and local honey. RAOS can arrange tours of members’ organic coffee farms (US$5 pp, less for a group), with a day or two notice—either contact them directly or ask at the tourist office for information.
Lunch on the farm or even a night in the farmer’s simple but clean home can also be arranged. A visit during harvest season (approximately November 10 through March) can be especially interesting.
The Cooperativa Unidas Para Progresar (tel. 504/764-5946, www.coomupl.org) is a type of women’s credit union where you can pick up bags of organic coffee, jams, honey, pottery, fruit wine, and other products, as well as arrange for visits to micro-businesses and organic farms
Another women’s cooperative that sells locally made products and can arrange for outings to farms is Cooperative Mujeres de la Sierra (tel. 504/764-5029).
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition