Luisa Pastora Siles Lopez
FINCA SANTA RITA STORY
Luisa Pastora is an exemplary mother, member of her community and coffee producer from Jinotega who has been in the coffee business for 65 years. Many years ago, after her husband’s death, Luisa took over the farm and transformed it into a specialty coffee farm. The farm Finca Santa Rica is located in the beautiful department of Jinotega in El Salto community at 1250 masl.
Today it is a 60-hectare farm, of which 42 hectares are planted with coffee and the remaining 18 hectares are used as a conversation area. Also, 67% of the farm has planted the caturra variety, and 33% is Macaraturra. So, Luisa leads the farm’s idea, vision and management, her team carries out the farm activities, and her grandson Oscar helps her with farm management and buying inputs.
15 years ago, Luisa started to focus more on specialty coffee, and for the last 6 years with Caravela in Nicaragua. With the PECA team’s support, Luisa shares that her ability to improve farm management practices and processing techniques has increased. To produce excellent coffee, Luisa relies on selective harvesting. All harvested coffee is transported from the farm to the wet mill, where processing begins. Each daily batch is floated to remove lower-density cherries and clean the coffee. The coffee is then de-pulped and placed in concrete fermentation tanks. Fermentation takes an average of 36 hours (about 1.5 days). After this process is complete, the coffee is taken to Caravela’s La Concordia drying facility, where it slowly dries on raised beds for 13–15 days (about 2 weeks).
Luisa shares she has been motivated to produce high-quality coffee to achieve higher prices, be sustainable and cover production cost and investments at the farm level. She concludes by saying, “I thank for buying my coffee and hope that you will continue to do so to ensure sustainability.