FINCA EL MICHAL STORY
In the northern village of El Coyegual in the department of Huehuetenango, an area privileged for its climate and mineral-rich soils, lies the El Michal farm run by Darwin, a second-generation coffee farmer. He inherited his farm from his father and proudly recalls always being involved in coffee growing. During the past three years, Darwin has made steady improvements to the farm, including fertilizing three times a year instead of twice a year. Caturra, Bourbon, and Pache San Ramon are the three main varieties on the farm, accounting for 60%, 25%, and 15%, respectively. All coffee is washed because this process works very well by dry fermentation (without water) for 24 hours. Since water resources in the area are limited, he hopes to experiment with honey and naturals. The drying process is done on patios on nylons for 5 days, and he hopes to improve the infrastructure during the next harvests as his income improves.
In addition, 2022 represents a good year for Darwin because it is the first year, he sells coffee to Caravela and becomes part of the Growers Education Program. He delivered parchment coffee this harvest through the Mobile Cupping Lab Project led by PECA and the quality team at Caravela. This project aims to reach farmers in remote areas who lack transportation, have great coffees, and usually sell their coffee at lower prices in the local market due to limited opportunities. Under this project, farmers receive quality feedback, higher prices, and premiums. Caravela covers transportation costs and pays farmers directly within 3 days after the delivery. He says, “the first time I met Caravela, I didn’t understand all their requirements, but it was good to get to know the company, and I liked the different prices they offer to growers.”
Likewise, Darwin says, “I’m grateful for the price received, and I hope customers enjoy my coffee, cultivated with a lot of effort and dedication, and I strive to continue to improve so that my coffee will always be something special.”
San Antonio Huistas