PRODUCERS: Mayo Family
In Latin America, coffee is typically produced by families, especially when they are small-scale farms. The newer generations, the sons and daughters of coffee growers, usually grow up on their family farms, always surrounded and related to coffee. In the highlands, where coffee is grown, the family union and teamwork will always be the most important factor. To have a strong building that will stand the test of time, it must have a sturdy foundation and a family is one. With this limited edition we want to acknowledge those families in coffee culture who work together, that are united, where each member plays an integral role in the farm to produce outstanding coffee. Cases such as when everyone is engaged and involved. For instance, when the female figure is the person in charge of keeping the records and traceability of production, while the husband oversees the harvest, and the kids help with the drying and post-harvesting.
Family ventures and a strong union is also of paramount importance to start a business that will eventually transcend from generation to generation creating a legacy and tradition. For these families that we want to highlight, it is the love for coffee that prevails through generations and creates strong family bonds and stronger coffee businesses.
The Mayo Family has been involved in coffee production for several years, with the patriarch purchasing their first piece of land around 1980. Now, the fourth generation of the family is already engaged in coffee production with their own farms. The third generation consists of eight brothers: Jose, Wilman, Vicente, Napoleon, Ilda, Melecio, Irma, and Gloria. They inherited the noble craft and love for coffee from their father, Juan, whose own father was also a coffee farmer. Coffee played a vital role in supporting their parents and providing for the family. It all began when their parents, seeking a better future, found and acquired approximately 200 hectares of land in the township of Playas de las Pircas in the canton of Chinchipe. Initially, they started with conventional coffee production, selling it as “bola,” a type of natural coffee in Ecuador without a focus on quality.
From a young age, all the brothers were involved with the farm and coffee production, learning from the process. As time went on and they grew older, Jose, the eldest, began learning about the washed process and specialty coffee. He started implementing changes at the farm that led to improved earnings. Over time, each of the brothers acquired their own farms, either through inheritance from the initial large farm or by purchasing parcels of land. The majority of their farms are located in the township of Playas de las Pircas in the canton of Chinchipe, while two of the brothers have farms in the township of Guaramishal in the canton of Palanda.
The family has implemented agroforestry systems at their farms, incorporating shade trees such as guabos and porotillos. They are mindful of the environmental impact and actively employ environmentally friendly practices. A visit to their farms reveals an incredible amount of flora and fauna diversity, as well as a focus on protecting water sources. Some of them even keep bees to assist with pollination and produce honey as a byproduct. The family members maintain a good relationship and communication, often coming together to share their experiences with their farms and coffee. During harvest time, they support each other in case of a shortage of cherry pickers or any other specific needs. Additionally, they receive visits and technical advice from the PECA technician regarding processes, drying, farm management, and more.
As a family, they take pride in knowing that their father’s last name, Juan Mayo, has reached other countries. They are confident that the hard work the family has put into coffee production will be appreciated, and they are committed to improving and producing even higher-quality coffee.
1,200 – 1,800 MASL