Romualdo del Castillo Acuña
FINCA SAN LORENZO STORY
Romualdo lives alone on his farm, San Lorenzo, and relies exclusively on his coffee production. He has been producing coffee since 2008, and more recently, in 2021, he started focusing on specialty coffee. The main motivation behind this decision was his daughter, who is studying medicine in Bolivia. With the better prices he can obtain from high-quality coffee, Romualdo is able to support her education and help her achieve her dreams. Moreover, he takes great pleasure in working diligently with his coffee. Throughout this journey of coffee and quality, Romualdo has made improvements on his farm, which have resulted in changes in his mindset and perception of coffee. He now considers himself someone who embraces challenges and dares to make changes. To enhance his knowledge and produce better-quality coffee, he has attended workshops and received visits from Caravela’s PECA technician. Since he manages the farm alone, Romualdo hires local workers from the area when assistance is needed during the harvest or other farm-related tasks. Currently, he plans to plant more Bourbon coffee on his farm, as it has proven to yield good results in terms of quality.
For Romualdo, an important aspect that sets his farm apart is the preservation of small untouched forest areas that act as mini ecosystems with native trees. These preserved spots contribute to regulating the climate on his farm and maintaining a healthy environment. In addition to coffee, Romualdo has planted corn, which has led to some amusing stories. There is a bear that occasionally visits the cornfield and simply sits there to eat the corn. Romualdo finds joy in observing this situation.
In the coffee processing stage, Romualdo begins with meticulous manual picking of ripe cherries on his farm. The cherries are then transported to the micro wet mill on the farm, where they undergo a flotation process to remove defective cherries. Afterward, the cherries are pulped and placed in open-air tanks to ferment for 24 hours before being washed. Following the washing stage, the coffee is transferred to solar dryers on the farm, where it will take approximately 12 days to reach the ideal humidity level.