Hector Flores standing near coffee plants
(Photo: Courtesy of Hector D. Flores)

For Hector Daniel Flores Mejia, climate change is personal. His family owns a coffee farm in Honduras. The farm’s location was once ideal for growing coffee plants.

But climate change is bringing warmer temperatures and more humid conditions. It’s leading to more pests and coffee rust, a fungus that attacks the plants.

Meija: “Our farm is located in high altitude, so the weather wasn’t warm before, but as it’s getting warmer and warmer, we’re seeing more coffee rust in our coffee.”

He says there’s no easy fix for coffee farmers. Many chemicals used to fight coffee rust are toxic for humans, so farmers often have to uproot the plants and start over again. But even that does not get to the root of the problem: the warming climate.

Meija: “I think we’re going to be facing more problems, more insects, more fungi attacking our coffee, and probably destroying our coffee farm.”

Meija does not know what will become of the farm, but his family is not alone. Many farmers across central America are struggling with coffee rust.

Reporting credit: Mark Knapp/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Eileen Mignoni

Eileen Mignoni

Eileen Mignoni is a South Florida-based visual journalist who has been working on stories about science, the environment, and energy for nearly 10 years. In addition to her work at Yale Climate Connections,...