Maria came to Gigante nine years ago because of violence and conflicts elsewhere. Using savings and a bank loan, she bought La Esperanza farm in partnership with Elias and Isaias Lizcano. Elias is her father-in-law and he helps her to manage the farm and is in charge of all the quality inspections.
At 1,700 metres above sea-level, La Esperanza is a relatively high altitude crop and has a total area of around nine hectares.
Last year she produced around 1,100kg of AA, AA+, AAA, and now ML, a grade which recognises microlots of very high quality coffee.
La Esperanza sits 1,700 metres above sea-level and is around nine hectares. After this year’s pruning to prevent leaf rust and ensure healthy future crops, she has 1,600 caturra trees in production and 2,000 castillo trees.
For Maria, the move from commodity coffee to specialty coffee was a great way to improve her life: the money she has received has helped to pay some of her debts and also to better provide for her family. Before focusing on specialty coffee she says it was difficult to take care of her farm because of a lack of money, but she’s now able to fertilise and make all roya (leaf rust) controls on time, further improving the quality of her crop.
She’s proud to be producing specialty coffee and says she has learned a great deal. After studying the PECA education program run by our sourcing partners Caravela, Maria has better practices for managing the farm, with the higher quality crops being recognised by the market with much better prices.
Maria wants to improve in every lot she produces and hopes to continue having coffee that reaches ML (microlot) grades.