Gloria Imelda Portillo
FINCA LOS GUACHIPILINES STORY
When Los Guachipilines became a farm, it was a plot of land full of guachipilin trees, or native inga, a nitrogen-fixing tree common in the region. Gloria, the owner, has been involved in coffee production for 30 years. lt all started when she saw the land, they lived on, was suitable for coffee cultivation and that it could be a source of income. Gloria says, “I have had good and not-so-good experiences with coffee and farming, but I have managed to get through them, 1 am still standing, and I have hope.”
Gloria works on the farm with her husband Ricardo Adelmo Diaz and her right-hand worker Don Jose, who oversees farm activities and finding local labor during the harvest season. In 2016, she joined our Grower’s Education Program and began to make slight changes every harvest to improve farm management activities, drying, and processing. Previously, she lost many coffees during the fermentation process because there was no good protocol in place on the farm to achieve satisfactory results. Currently, when processing the coffees, Gloria focuses on picking the coffee cherries at their optimal ripeness, and since the pulper is equipped with a sieve, the wet parchment goes through a screen-sizing phase to obtain a more homogeneous batch. After this, the coffee ferments for 12 hours and depending on the weather conditions fermentation can extend to 16 or 18 hours. After washing the coffee, the drying phase for every daily lot is carried out on three-level African-style raised beds for 15 to 20 days. Raised beds are not covered with shade because the weather is humid and cloudy, so ali available daylight hours must be used during harvest time.
On the farm, 70% of the acreage is Pacas Variety, 20% Catuai, and 10% Pacamara. Gloria is proud of her farm and her work and tells us, “When I see the trees full of red cherries, 1 am happy. lt is like seeing the fruits of my sacrifices, it shows all the work I have done.” She adds, “We continue to do our best, and we have to continue with obtaining fair prices, and we hope that our work is valued.”