Guatemala Trip, Part 1: Chimaltenango Dept.

Guatemala Trip, Part 1: Chimaltenango Dept.

It's harvest time in Guatemala, so our our green coffee buying team traveled down this week to reconnect with our Direct Trade partners around the country and observe the harvest.

Their first stop was Chimaltenango Department, home to Fernando Diaz's El Retiro and La Merced farms. Follow along!

El Retiro

"This is Rumoldo, a picker working at El Retiro. The farm manager says he has been picking around 250 pounds of cherries a day. That is nearly twice the average!"

"This year’s Cimarrona crop is about to be picked. Cimarrona is a Bourbon mutation that Anacafe [Guatemala's National Coffee Association] identified at El Retiro several years ago. Seeds from these trees were collected and planted in a new location at El Retiro that is now thriving. One noticeable difference is that the cherries are more compact and have less mucilage than Bourbon."

"Beneficio El Retiro is the wet mill for the farm where the coffee cherries are processed and dried. It’s a very busy time and the patio space is at capacity. The raised beds [pictured at top] are a necessary addition that aids in consistent rotation during the drying process."


La Merced

"La Merced is the other portion of the family farm owned by Nando’s extended family for over 100 years. Around the turn of the century, they sold much of the land between the farms to local families in the area. La Merced is around 200m higher than El Retiro. It is an interesting mix of 100+ year-old Typica and Bourbon and more intensively pruned and managed Pache."


Stay tuned for more from the Vides58 family of farms and Finca El Socorro in Huehuetenango!

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