Clementino Rodriguez Hernandez
FINCA SAN SILVESTRE STORY
Finca San Silvestre is nestled on the slopes of Citala town, close to the border with Honduras. Clementino says long ago there was a stone in the community where Saint Silvestre appeared. Therefore, the community has been named in his honor.
Clementino started working with coffee 20 years ago, being one of the first producers to plant the Pacamara variety in Citala due to a program focused’on making this variety commercially available in 2020. The Pacamara variety is a cross between the Pacas and Maragogipe created by the Salvadoran Institute of Coffee Research (ISIC) in 1958. Back in 2000, he decided to be part of this project, and purchased some plants, hoping to access a better market and fetch higher prices. Additionally, Clementino recalls getting into coffee because his family liked drinking coffee. Still since they didnt grow
any, he would travel to Talquezalar, a community far away, to purchase the coffee and roast it at home. It was on these trips that he found out about the program.
In the beginning, growing coffee was dificilt for Clementino due to the lack of technical assistance and knowledge about the variety, so he had to sell his coffee as conventional at lower prices. However, 15 years ago, he started to find more opportunities to sell coffee and enter the specialty coffee market. Over the years, he has focused on improving and achieving excellent quality.
Today, Clementino has good processing techniques and owns a micro-mill He focuses on selective picking, and de-pulping the coffee the same day on a manual pulper, so depending on the quantity, it can take him 2-3 hours to finish this process. He only does honey due to the lack of water in the area Honey-processed coffees are fermented for 24 hours before slowly drying on raised beds. The drying process can take from 18 to 20 days (about 3weeks), and he puts a lot of care to make sure the coffee is dried slowly and as homogeneous as possible.
On Finca San Silvestre, Clementino has 95% Pacamara variety and 5% Cuscatleco variety. He grows com, beans, and sugar cane for composition; thus, coffee is his primary income source. He plans to learn more about fermentation and foliage management this year with the support of the PECA team. Clementino shares, “I’m proud of my coffee plantations. It’s one of the first in the country. Pacamara is a good variety, and Ive leamed a lot from how the plants behave and grow”