Located about 45 minutes north of Retalhuleu , Comunidad Nueva Alianza (tel. 5801-7849, www.comunidadnuevaalianza.org ) is a 300-acre organic coffee and macadamia plantation owned and operated by a cooperative of 40 Guatemalan families.
Large tracts of tropical forest have been preserved on the property. A walk through the plantation will bring you to cascading waterfalls and wonderful views of Santa María and Santiaguito Volcanoes. The community received legal title to the land in 2004 after a drawn-out conflict with the farm’s former owner who failed to pay workers’ wages for 18 months and subsequently declared bankruptcy.
The community received a loan to purchase the land and is actively making efforts to fund re-payment of the loan via numerous activities. These include ecotourism, production of bamboo furniture, sustainable energy production, and coffee and macadamia nut production.
Tours can be arranged via Quetzaltenango travel agencies  or directly through the cooperative. You can stay in the community’s comfortable lodgings in a hostel-style room with shared bath for $8 or in a private room with shared bath for $11. Meals cost $3–5 each. The community accepts volunteers for hostel maintenance, agricultural work, and community development.