Mayorga in Colombia
FINCA SANTA MARIA
Colombia is a country with a colorful and vibrant, rich culture. From the hot arepas (tortillas sold on the street), to the cumbia and salsa music, there is always something to see. The essence of Colombia can be found in its coffee or “tinto”, the term locals use for a cup of black coffee.The country is among the world’s top 3 producers of coffee. The coffee is produced in 18 coffee regions that are spread throughout dramatic landscapes in most of its territory. Colombia is crossed by the Andes Mountains and sprinkled with diverse microclimates and other geographic conditions that allow for distinct coffee flavors and profiles from region to region.
We crossed the Chicamocha Canyon in Santander- the department where many historians say coffee was first introduced into Colombia in the late 1700’s- and discovered Finca Santa Maria, a farm that is operated by a group of 20 women that have found empowerment and a sense of community through their work in coffee, and also a sustainable source of income for their families.
Finca Santa Maria is part of the operations of Hacienda La Pradera, located near Aratoca in Santander, Colombia. The farm is operated by a group of 20 women between the ages of 23 and 45 from the neighboring community of Aratoca, led by Mildred Muñoz. The coffee that is planted and harvested by the group of women from Finca Santa Maria is milled and exported by Hacienda La Pradera. Finca Santa Maria is favored by a unique microclimate that is influenced by the neighboring Chicamocha Canyon, that allows for a very dry summer at the beginning of the year and abundant rainfall on the second half of the year. The unique microclimate and geographic conditions, paired with the expert selection on the hands of the women of Finca Santa Maria produce a fantastic cup of organic coffee that will be part of your Mayorga favorites!
FINCA SANTA MARIA
Producer: Oscar Daza and Mildred Muñoz
Farm Name: Finca Santa María - a part of the Hacienda La Pradera
Farm size: 30 hectares
Elevation: 5249-6233 feet above sea level
Process: Washed, Honey, Natural
Varietals: Castillo, Caturra, Catuaí, Maragogipe, Borbon and Geisha
Harvest season: September - February
Average Temperature: 66 degrees F
Type of shade: Finca Santa Maria has an agroforestry system with 9 species, among them: Anaco, Galapo, Guayacán, Bucaro, Aro, Garrocho, Guamo, Oak, Ceiba, and fruit trees like orange, avocado, tangerine, banana and chacha fruit.
Certified Organic since year: 2015
Cup profile: Fruity, with sweet notes of caramel and red berries.
Time it takes to get to farm from main international airport: 4 hours
At the end of the 80´s, challenges in the coffee production such as low market prices and adverse climate conditions led the family farm into one of the worst crisis of its history. In the midst of this difficult scenario, Mr. Hector Daza’s son, Oscar, decides to join his father to rescue the family farm and put into practice all that he learned from his family example.
Thanks to the family strong bonds, the crisis was overcome and the generational leap was fulfilled. After completing his studies in coffee production at the Manuel Mejia Foundation in CENICAFE in Colombia, Oscar took the lead of the family business and started implementing the recently learned agronomical strategies that favor efficiency and promotes environmental care as differentiated value for the coffee production. As a result of this vision, in 2006 the farm enters the National Coffee Federation’s Program for coffee sustainability and acquires the Rainforest Alliance and Organic Farming certificates.
With their commitment for continuous improvement, La Pradera Estate Farm is a truthful example of ecological restoration of degraded landscapes. Aiming beyond the traditional sustainability practices, the farm has been able to increase coffee production and quality while taking care of the soil, the water sources and all the people involved in the productive chain. All these persistent efforts have allowed the family business not only to administrate their own international certificates as truly regenerative coffee with the Organic Certification, the Rainforest and Bird Friendly certifications active until this day; but also to invest and consolidate the implementation of an integral quality control system that enables to fulfill the strictest international standards for coffee tasting.
In 2015, Oscar Daza and his wife Mildred Muñoz started their own family project with Finca Santa Maria, which is part of the operations of Hacienda La Pradera. Finca Santa María is operated by a group of 20 women from the community of Aratoca, that have found empowerment and a sense of community through their work in coffee, and also a sustainable source of income for their families.