Farm: El Porvenir Coffee Estate
Varietal(s): Arabica Caturra and Borboun variaties
Processing: Fully Washed and Sun-Dried
Owner: Joseph Daniel Mooney
Address: Km 57 Carretera a San Martin Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango
Region: Western Highlands of Guatemala
Altitude: 1,800 meters above sea level
El Porvenir Coffee Estate:
Don Jorge Molina Zea
The farm, formerly known as Finca El Durazno, was founded by my
Greatgrandfather Don Jorge Molina Zea in the late 1800s and the farm was over 700- hectares.
El Porvenir Coffee Estate
Finca El Durazno is in the Western Highlands of
Guatemala, 57 kilometers from Guatemala City in the
Department of Chimaltenango.
In the early years of the farm, the main crop was
high-quality coffee beans, produced from Bourbon
Arabica. Close to 250 hectares were cultivated in the early
1900’s, grown under shade of Grevillea trees. The bourbon
coffee trees on the farm were large, spaced apart in 4×4
meters plots, and managed by selective pruning year after
The processing method on the farm involved fully Don Jorge Molina Zea washing
and sun-drying coffee beans on brick patios. My
Great-grandfather sold his coffee to buyers in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Bremen.
Not only was he very passionate about producing the highest quality coffee beans but
also grew black beans, corn, and vegetables. He operated a commercial dairy farm for the
production and sale of fresh milk, and other dairy products. Fresh milk was sold in the city of
Chimaltenango and surrounding villages. Butter and cream were also sold in Chimaltenango
but fetched at a higher price in Guatemala City, country’s capital.
Don Jorge was a generous man and he gave free milk rations to the children of the
workers of the farm, built an elementary school on the farm, and provided the funds for the
farmers’ children to attend school for free. On the farm, he also built a small medical clinic
for the workers and their families.
The farm’s climate was suitable for raising sheep for wool and meat production, sold
commercially. At one time there were over 500 sheep that grazed in the in the pastures and
pine forest areas. Other economic activities of the farm included the production of clay-fired
bricks of the Tayuyo type (solid brick).
My Great-grandfather also planted thousands of pines throughout the years. By
thinning out the pine forest, firewood was readily available, and it was sold to villagers in the
surrounding towns and cities. The farm workers would be given free firewood on a regular
basis for personal consumption. Pine charcoal was produced and sold in Guatemala City at a
higher value. A sawmill was also constructed to process pine logs into a variety of lumber
Finca El Durazno had a very nice Hacienda-style house where relatives and friends would
spend many weekends, holidays, and long summer vacations. There were many activities to
do: horseback riding, hiking, fishing in the lagoon, working on the farm, attending Mass on
the weekends in a small colonial-style church built on the farm, celebrating birthdays,
The Patron Saint
The most important holiday was Saint Joseph’s day, the Patron Saint of the farm on March
19th. It is an all-day celebration for the workers, starting off with a Mass to give thanks for the
harvest. Then the celebration begins with the setting of fireworks after the Mass, when music
played from the marimba (Guatemala National Instrument), traditional food, more fireworks
and traditional dances, pinatas, and gifts for kids, games, and dancing took place. To this day
I continue celebrating Saint Joseph’s day with my workers and family. Finca El Durazno was
a famous destination for family and friends because of its closeness to Guatemala City, the
hospitality of my grandparents, and the natural beauty of the farm.
The next generation
My Great-grandfather had only one heir to his Estate, his daughter Rosita – my grandmother.
My Great-grandfather remarried to Dona Albertina, who was a nice stepmother to my
grandmother. When my great-grandfather passed away when my grandmother was just a
young girl, her stepmother took over the management of the estate until my grandmother
graduated from university.
The passion for farming, especially for coffee, was passed on by
her father. She took over the responsibility of the farm with the
help of her stepmother and with the valuable support of the loyal
farm workers; they lived on the farm in a small village
environment. My grandmother followed in her father’s footsteps,
running the farm and caring for their workers. To me, the workers
are like family.
My grandmother Rosita
My grandmother married Don Juan Del Carmen, a large coffee farmer from a very important
coffee region in the Department of San Marcos, located on the Pacific Coast’s mountain
range. His farm, Finca California, was a 900-hectare, shade-grown
coffee plantation which produced Semi-Hard Coffee Beans,
prominently from the Bourbon Arabica variety. A ferment-and-wash
method of wet processing was used and sun-dried in patio; in
combination with a drum type dryer, called Guardiola, as the patios
did not have enough capacity, and poor weather due to rains in the
The dry mill processing facility prepared the green coffee for export.
At the turn of the 21st century, the green coffee bags were transported
by mules to the railroad station in Pajapita, San Marcos because the
dirt roads were in terrible conditions. The coffee bags were later My grandmother Rosita
by train to the Port of San Jose and then shipped mainly to the German market.
Access to Finca California was difficult due to the road conditions, and the farm had to be
self-sufficient in many ways. The farm relied on a hydroelectric power plant, a general store,
a medical clinic, a school and other services small towns provided. Most of the workers lived
on the farm, and grandfather was always there with a helping hand.
My grandfather would bring his family from Guatemala City to live on the farm during the
harvest season from October to January every year. The harvest time is the fun time, and in
the evenings my grandfather would play movies on a reel projector for the workers.
“Del Carmen” Family, 2nd and 3rd generation
My mother, Maria Teresa was the eldest of five siblings, and they all grew up, for a large part,
on the farms. My grandparents managed both farms, while my mother looked after the Finca
El Durazno. My mother loved the farm life and would visit on the weekends and holidays
because she was going to school in Guatemala City.
During turbulent times in Guatemala’s history, my grandfather moved his family to Bay St.
Louis, Mississippi in 1954 while he carried on working on the farms. My mother and father,
Dan C. Mooney met there.
In the late 50s, my grandfather gave each worker a plot land to build their homes. The total
land area was 65 hectares. Throughout the years, the family has had an excellent relationship
with the workers, but more so after they received their plots of land for free. The initial
population was around 800 inhabitants. Today, over 3,500 people live in the village.
Throughout the decades, our family has helped support the
introduction of electricity, supported the installation of a
deep-well water pump, and portable water grids. We also
helped to build the local church and school. Both activities
have provided good paying jobs for both men and women.
My parents got married in 1959 in Guatemala City. They
lived and worked in New Orleans, where they brought up
their four kids. My dad worked in construction
and mother was a Spanish and French teacher.
Even though I grew up in River Ridge, Louisiana, our
summer vacations were always in Guatemala. The
highlight our vacation was to go out to the farms.
All of a sudden, in 1973 my family moved to
Guatemala because my grandfather was ill, and he
asked my parents to help manage the farms. My
father took over the management of the farms and my
mother was responsible for the finances.
On many weekends and holidays, we went to Finca El Durazno with my parents, siblings,
aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, and had great times. I also learned about the different crops
being grown, to ride horses and motorcycles, as well as play soccer and hike. The workers
would invite my family to their celebrations in the homes. It was always an honor to attend.
Many of the kids I played soccer with in those days are now working with me on the Estate.
We are still friends to this day!
My initial involvement
I would help my father at Finca California on holidays and summer vacations when I was in
high school. I learned a lot from my father and the supervisors on the farm on how to grow
coffee. I became passionate about becoming a coffee farmer. My father was a big inspiration!
Even though I entered the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City to study Civil
Engineering, my heart always directed me to become a coffee grower.
My grandfather passed away in 1975 and my parents continued to manage Finca California
for my mother’s family. My father died in a car accident in 1985 coming back from the coffee
farm. It was a sad and tough time for my mother and us.
This large farm was divided up between my mother and
her four siblings. The section of the farm given to my
mother was named Finca San Luis. We also had another
farm my where my father planted rice, sorghum, and corn
in the region about 30 kms from Finca San Luis. When I
took over this farm, I began to convert it to a rubber
From 1979 to 1985, I worked at Finca El Durazno for my
grandmother Rosita during my college years. She was an
enormous influence in my life, and she helped instill in
me the passion of farming and growing coffee. We also
grew corn, black beans, potatoes, established a
greenhouse and lagoons (later into which tilapia were
introduced) and continued the tradition of planting pine
trees. I am blessed and honored to have grown up in a fourth-generation
coffee farmer family.
My grandmother passed away in 1993 and my mother inherited Finca El Porvenir, a 100-
hectare farm that was part of larger of Finca El Durazno. This farm did not have coffee
planted but had a large pine forest and arable land to plant vegetables and berries. We grew
vegetables and berries (zucchinis, carrots, raspberries, and blackberries) for export.
The farm is nestled in the volcanic region of the Western Highlands of Guatemala, 57
kilometers from Guatemala City, at an altitude between 1,650 to 1,800 meters above sea level.
This region is also ideal for growing vegetables and berries, as well as corn and black beans
on a larger scale. The farm is situated three kilometers from the city of Chimaltenango, one
the larger cities of Guatemala, on the paved road to San Martin Jilotepeque (another important
coffee region of Guatemala), a medium-sized town about 27 kilometers away. The farm
borders the village of El Durazno where most of the farm’s workers live. We sold Finca San
Luis to a friend in the coffee region of San Marcos close to the farm in 1999.
Taking over the farm
In 2001, my mother passed away and I became totally responsible for managing both Finca
El Porvenir and the rubber plantation in San Marcos. That same year, I obtained a forestry
license to cut down the trees on the farm to produce lumber, firewood, and charcoal. In 2002,
through the government reforestation program, I would plant over 95,000 trees in next four
years at the Finca El Porvenir. The reasons I implemented the reforestation project are:
• improving the local environment
• establishing shaded areas for future coffee plantations
• investing for a future pinewood harvest.
Pine trees take about seven years to produce a good canopy as shade for growing coffee. So,
in 2012, we began to plant coffee trees under the pine trees, thus establishing El Porvenir
I can remember it was a very happy day for me because my dream was coming true, following
my family’s footsteps to become a coffee grower like them. I was passionate about and have
been working hard to build the coffee estate. In August of 2014, I negotiated with my siblings
to buy the rest of the farm’s shares, thus becoming the sole owner of El Porvenir Coffee
Estate. Now my wife, sons and I are the owners of the Estate of a single origin SHB highquality
coffee estate in Guatemala!
Having lunch with farm workers Having lunch with farm workers
Managing the farm today
From the moment we became sole owners till beginning of 2018, I had been managing the
Estate from Kabul, Afghanistan, with the support of my wife and sons as well as with the
manage. Now, I live in Guatemala and manage it from here. I also have a supervisor and an
Agronomist from the Guatemala Coffee Associations (Anacafe) who visits, and oversees, the
farm on a regular basis.
Most of the workers, with whom I have grown up with, come from El Durazno Village. I have
given them land to plant corn and black beans, and they are able to obtain firewood by
trimming pine branches. Furthermore, I frequently support the local church. Multiple jobs,
for both men and women, have been created. My family and I are invited over when I am in
the country for a lunch or party. We have an excellent relationship with the villagers and the
The Estate’s unique microclimate has the ideal coffee-growing characteristics including
volcanic mineral rich soils, consistent rainfall, and high altitude. This allows us to produce
one of the finest high-grade Strictly Hard Bean (SHB)1. Our coffee is single-origin, 100%
Arabica coffee with a delightful aroma, pleasant acidity, full body, and delicate sweetness.
All these characteristics result in a balanced and flavorful cup.
The Estate is blessed with an annual temperature between 12-25 ºC (54-77 ºF), and an annual
rainfall between 800 – 1,200 mm, with most of the rainfall occurring in the rainy season (May-
August). The relative air humidity fluctuates between 60 – 80% and enables the coffee to
attain a unique flavor and aroma that is ideal to grow one of the best quality coffee beans.
The coffee beans are produced from Bourbon and Caturra Arabica varieties. These beans,
because of the higher elevation of the farm, are harder and denser, and thus of higher quality.
1 The Guatemalan Coffee Association grading system defines the Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) grade to include coffee
beans grown at elevations higher than 1,371 meters (4,500 feet) above sea level.
Coffee Plant and a ready-to-pick harvest
The coffee trees are grown under canopy of Pine, native Ingas and Gravileas trees. This wellmanaged
agroforestry system provides a good habitat for wildlife. Further benefits of the
shade trees include: a slower coffee tree growth rate (resulting in more flavorful and tasteful
beans), higher levels of organic matter, erosion control, and an increased environmental value
of the Estate. We take immense pride that our coffee production is ecologically and
Harvest begins in late November and culminates at the end of February during the dry season.
The on-site wet mill allows for the full control of the washing method. The beans are then
sun-dried by a combination of patios and African screen tables, following the process of four
generations of family traditions.
Harvesting coffee through a rigorous selection process, picking red coffee beans ready for processing
The Coffee Environment:
Image of the dry processing area in the farm Fermentation tanks
Production and Export:
Coffee is among Guatemala’s main exports. Aside from already selling coffee to a specialty
coffee house, we have sold our beans mostly to Europe and some to the US. At El Porvenir
Coffee Estate, our aim is to sell our single origin high-quality SHB to specialty coffeehouses
and roasters in the United States, Europe, and emerging specialty coffee markets. We estimate
that the Estate’s coffee production (in green, unroasted beans) is 500 bags for 2017/2018
harvest, with a projected increase up to 1,000 bags in next harvest year.
The coffee produced on the estate displays similar cup
characteristics of high – grade Guatemala Strictly Hard
Bean (SHB), a coffee that combines complex nuanced
flavors (smoke, spice, flowers, and occasionally
chocolate) with acidity ranging from gent ly bright to
Looking over the seedlings at the farm
Planting the seedlings at the farm
Fertilizing the plantation
Further images from the farm:
For further information or queries regarding the El Porvenir Coffee Estate, please do not hesitate to contact El Porvenir Coffee Estate at:
Joseph Daniel Mooney
Agroexportactiones El Porvenir
Address: Km 16.5 Carretera a El
Salvador, Lotificacion San
Antonio, 5a Calle 2-28, Santa
Catarina Pinula, Guatemala
Contact: Joseph Daniel Mooney
Tel: +502 3141 3987
Email: [email protected]
We look forward to doing business.
|Farm Name||El Porvenir|
|Farmer/Rep.||Mooney Del Carmen, Joseph Daniel|
|Altitude||5400 – 6000|
|Aroma/Flavor||Brown sugar, caramel, honey, orange, melon, red apple, chocolate|
|Acidity||Bright, citric, lemon, malic, orange|
|Other||Clean, honey, sweet, well balanced, creamy, long lasting, caramel, chocolate, juicy|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||2,095.16|