Finca Santa Ileana was purchased by the current owners in 2001. The farm belonged to a coffee exporter group which had financial problems and lost the property. Therefore, when acquired, the farm was completely abandoned. The farm is located at the top of an extinguish volcano, and has an extension of 80 hectares, of which 40 are planted with coffee trees. The farm has several important clean water springs. One of which is dammed, and provides the water for the families living at the farm. The farm is located east of the town Pueblo Nuevo Viñas, a small town located 56 kilometers to the southeast of Guatemala City. From Pueblo Nuevo Viñas, the farm is reached by 3.5 km steep dirt road which climbs from 1, 200 to 1, 600 meters. Most of the year, 4×4 vehicles are needed to reach the farm. During the rainy season, it becomes an adventure to get to the farm, since one river has to be crossed 5 times, without bridges.
The farm is run by a General Supervisor who lives at the farm. He has 3 foremen, who direct the operations at the field. A coffee farm has work to do all year long. January is devoted to coffee picking and milling, which lasts until the end of March. In February, the seeds for the next year nursery are planted, and they take approximately 45 days to come out the earth (soldiers). This activity is also done at the same time as the picking and processing. The wet mill is located at the neighbor farm EL AMATE, which is also operated by Agropecuaria Aguapica, S. A. It has a capacity of 100 quintals per hour, by two depulpers and one skin remover. The mill has a water recirculating system, in order to reuse the water while depulping.
After several passes, water is stored in a sedimentation pond. All the pulp that comes out of the milling process I used to feed worms, which produce natural fertilizer. In the month of April, whtn the crop is over, several tasks take place, such as new areas preparation, old plants removal, shade trees trimming, coffee plants trimming, chopping the weeds, preparing the new nursery area, selecting soil for bag filling, and planting the newly born plants into the bags. In the months of June and July, nursery plants are transferred to their final destination in the field and fertilized. Also during these months, older coffee trees are fertilized, depending on requirements determined by soil and leave tests. August, September and October are the months with higher precipitation. During these months tasks such as weed chopping, fertilization and maintenance works take place. During the month of November, the mill is prepared to be ready in case the coffee ripens sooner, due to the behavior of the rain from May to October. December is a slow and dry month, and crews are enlisted to start collecting the beans.
A reactivation program consisting of cleaning the very high weeds, chopping almost all coffee plants and rearranging the shade trees was put in place, and lasted for three years. Since then, a yearly amount of 30,000 new coffee trees are replaced. There is still much work to do at housing facilities for the one permanent family that live at the farm, as well as for the seasonal workers. In addition, since water has become a very valuable element, several small dams are being and will be constructed in the creeks, to preserve it. Also, those areas where natural springs daylight are being kept notched, that is with its native trees coverage.
|Farm Name||Santa Ileana|
|Farmer/Rep.||Agropecuaria Aguapica, S.A.|
|Size (30kg boxes)||36|
|City||Pueblo Nuevo Viñas|
|Aroma/Flavor||brown sugar, caramel, orange, red fruits, green tea, red apple|
|Acidity||citric, fruity, lively|
|Other||juicy, stone fruits.Body: silky, buttery|
|Farm Size||80 ha|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||2342|
|High bidders||Kyokuto Fadie Corporation|