Region: Santa Elena, La Paz
Producer: Carminda Vásquez Sorto
Farm: El Naranjo
Altitude: 5,580 feet
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai, Typica
Flavors of baked apple, almond and brown sugar.
This microlot comes from a small 3.5 acre family-owned farm named El Naranjo. Farm owner Carminda Vásquez Sorto participates in the Catracha Coffee program which is located in the town of Santa Elena. The organization holds monthly seminars where farming practices such as proper fermentation and tree pruning are taught to local coffee producers. Her farm’s increasing productivity and coffee quality have allowed her to better provide for her family and reinvest in the farm. Like many farms in Central and South America, El Naranjo has been impacted by the leaf rust fungus known as roya, but Carminda plans to use some of her extra earnings to renovate parts of the farm that have been hit hardest.
Santa Elena is a small community located in La Paz Department that is beginning to gain recognition in the specialty coffee world. It is nestled in the mountains near Honduras’ border with El Salvador. Founded by Mayra Orellana-Powell and her husband Lowell in 2010, Catracha Coffee is a social enterprise dedicated to the prosperity of the producers they work with. Mayra and Lowell provide training to improve processing practices and quality in order to fetch higher prices. These profits are then shared with each of the producers they work with through premiums paid for the coffee they export. Next year, Catracha plans to open a small roasting operation and café in Santa Elena that will employ women and children of the community.
Catracha Coffee’s expertise and the producers’ willingness to experiment have made a noticeable difference in the quality of coffee being produced in Santa Elena. We are excited to be offering coffee from this community for the first time and look forward to seeing the continued progress of this program.