I have been growing coffee since 1987, and I discovered that it’s much easier to manage cacao. I manage the plants, and the leaves cover the soil, which reduces weeds. It requires very little labour, stated Virgilio
The world came crashing down on me in 2012 when coffee rust damaged one third of my crop, and half of it the following year. It took three years to renew my plants and harvest again. Before, I sold unprocessed coffee beans because I had no way to process it. This reduced my earnings, said Elías, as he recounted his first steps as a coffee producer.
Three months after he started first grade, Idelfonso Nieto had to drop out of school due to his father’s death. Life itself would teach him to read and write, but his efforts and passion for coffee would lead to his being “crowned” as an “engineer”. In 2021, he won third place in the “El Paraíso Origin” Specialty Coffee Competition.
In the Buena Vista village in the El Paraíso department, women who had graduated from high school and university, whose professions included nursing assistants and farmers, have returned to their first love: coffee production. “I worked in a private school in Tegucigalpa. I earned a living, but the cost of living was higher. I did the math and realised that I had more money left over from coffee, so my husband and I returned to the countryside,” commented Katy Moncada, president of the “Women in Action” Farmer’s Association (Empresa Asociativa Campesina).