Eladio Gonzalo Chamba
PARTNER´S NAME : FRANCISCA CLEMENCIA GRANDA HERRERA
FINCA NUESTRA SEÑORA DE GUADALUPE STORY
In the southern province of Loja, there is a mountainous canton named Gonzanama. In these hills, Eladio has his 10-hectare farm, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, where he lives with Francisca, his wife, and youngest son, Roberto. Besides Roberto, Eladio has four more children: Lorena, Carlos, Maria Fernanda, and Maria Isabel. In 1997, Eladio bought his farm with the savings he had. He and Francisca initially went into pig breeding. As time passed, in 2002, he discussed with his wife the option of starting to produce coffee. He started a nursery with 100 trees of Caturra and eventually planted them. The trees adapted very well to his farm and had an amazing production, so he decided to switch entirely to coffee.
In 2015, he began using a washed process for coffee production based on recommendations from neighbors. Previously, he had been processing his coffee natural, known in Ecuador as “bola” coffee, which he sold in the local market. With the washed process, Eladio focused on producing high-quality coffee. Specialty coffee brought him better earnings, allowing him to provide a better quality of life for his family, who in turn serve as his motivation. He has also adopted better farm practices aimed at conserving the environment and achieving organic production. At the farm, everyone helps, making it a family effort to work on the farm. Every member feels the passion and love for coffee. They even have a roaster on the farm, were Carlos, the oldest son, roasts coffee from the farm for sale in the region. In addition to coffee, Eladio grows sugar cane and citrus trees on the farm.
The biggest challenge Eladio faces on the farm is during the summer when there is no rain, so he has to buy water to process the coffee.
Eladio begins the coffee process with selective manual picking of the ripe cherries. Once he takes the cherries to his wet mill, they are sorted and floated to remove the defective ones and any small branches. Afterwards, the coffee is pulped with some water and placed inside airtight plastic containers for a period of 30 hours without water. When finished, the coffee is washed three times and taken to the covered drying beds, where it will take from 25 to 30 days to reach its ideal point. During that time, Eladio moves the coffee several times per day to achieve even drying.