Today funnily enough was another day of sitting on the bus. We visited some small produces in
Atitlan called Nimak Cape. It’s a coop of producers who own say from ½ a hector to a hector. In Finca terms this is very small, and something I’ve not been a massive fan of. I wouldn’t say I shyed away from coop coffee’s (we have some in our range that are great examples of fine coffee), but given the alternative of one farm or a coop and the same in the cup, I’d go for the finca.
But what this day taught me was there is no difference as these small farms make up the same, just run by individuals as the larger farm. But the most thought changing part was that if you have individuals tending a small lot that is their coffee they grow it pick it tend to it, where as the larger fincas they have to bring in pickers and buy in labour. I know from experience that if you pay some one to do something they will do it to the best of their ability, but owners will go that extra mile and has an added incentive to make sure the quality is exactly perfect. Some of the picking we saw was truly awesome not a green cherry in sight hand picked to perfection.
Another thing that amazed me was that everyone in the family was involved in picking and moving the coffee to the collection stations, even the young children. At home it’s a chore for my son to move his plate to the kitchen, yet children younger than him were moving 50kg of cherry, and happy and smiling whilst doing it. When I cant get him to tidy his room, but they were picking coffee for hours upon end. Very humbling experience, and such happy nice people.
From there we moved onto a boat ride across lake Atitlan to the town of Panajachel. An interesting town, very touristy that is nice and a chance for some retail therapy, where we stopped in a great hotel overlooking the bay (see photo). Now it is the next day and I’m pleased to be leaving as it felt a very false place and not real Guatemala. We are again on the bus but this time I mind not, as we are off to Finca El Bosque, a coffee we started stocking last year, and is a BIG favourite of mine. So the chance to meet the growers (3 brothers) is very exiting for me.
This was not meant to be part of the trip but everyone kindly gave up the morning shopping to stop me crying and wailing and carrying on “I WANT, I WANT, I WANT, TO GO TO EL BOSQUE”