Collection: Banhez Mezcal

Banhez Mezcal - The life of a mezcalero once meant inconsistent work, low wages, and an uncertain future. The 36 farming families behind the Banhez Cooperative are changing this, improving lives now and for generations to come.

Raised in Oaxaca, Francisco Javier Perez Cruz saw the hardship that followed families making mezcal. This was part of their heritage, but life was hard and unsustainable, forcing families to separate.

In 2004 he was elected president of the National Mezcal Council and later received federal funding to establish nurseries and reopen distilleries around Ejutla. He founded the Consejo Oaxaqueño del Maguey Mezcal (Oaxaca Mezcal Maguey Council) as a platform for local mezcaleros and industry members to organize.

His work, inspired by his own family, has changed the tradition of making mezcal into a community, one committed to the quality of their craft and raising one another other.

Today, the Banhez Cooperative of farmers and producers, unified by Francisco Javier, forms the Unión Productores de Agropecuarios del Distrito de Ejutla de Crespo (UPADEC) and is run by his son, Luis.