Mayorga in Honduras
San Pedro de Capucas is located in the Western region of Honduras, near the famous Mayan ruins of Copán. The land in Capucas is ideal for coffee growing due to the soil, climate conditions and the high altitude, which is between 4,000 and 5,900 feet above sea level.
The Capucas cooperative is a great example of commitment to organic practices while providing support for innovation and diversification, as they encourage their farmers to engage in other organic growing activities that can help produce extra income in addition to their organic coffee.
San Pedro de Capucas, Copán, Honduras
Region: San Pedro de Capucas, Copán
Producer: Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada "COCAFCAL"
Leader of Coop: José Omar Rodriguez Romero
Date Cooperative was established: 1999
Number of members: 950 as of 2017
Elevation: 4,000-5,420 feet above sea level
Varietals: Catuaí, Caturra, Borbón, Pacamara, Paca, Purpurense
Harvest Season: November-March
Average Temperature: 64˚F - 71˚F
Certified Organic since year: 2000
Cup profile: 85-90 pts on the SCA scale. Medium body with undertones of maple and honeysuckle, notes of sweet chocolate and nuts, with a bright, balanced citric acidity and abundant fruit flavors of peach and ripe plum.
Time it takes to get to coop from main international airport: From the San Pedro Sula International Airport it's about a 4-5 hour road trip to Capucas.
Other sources of income besides coffee: honey, lemongrass, vegetables and passionfruit, tourism.
The Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada (COCAFCAL) was founded by a group of 55 producers in April of 1999. The coop is made up of 950 coffee producers from the southern part of the Copán department. Their objective is to find alternatives to improve the production and commercialization of coffee, in order to have better income for the producers. The coop´s aim is to make coffee a sustainable crop, reusing the honey waters and the coffee pulp in order to fertilize the soil, preserving the environment and reducing the costs of production.
Accomplishments: Certification of 950 coffee farms for a total of 9,293 acres. By promoting organic agriculture, Capucas contributes to decreasing the pollution of the environment, forest conservation, reducing the costs of fertilization, and they contribute to improving the health of the families of the community of San Pedro, Copán. The Coop has a permanent doctor and medical and dental brigades 3 times per year that benefit 3,500 people each year.
Every year the coop members organize the competition: “Te Van a conocer compa” to recognize the best quality coffees of the coop. The event brings to Capucas 12 international cuppers and roasters, and serves as a platform to promote their coffees worldwide, as well as to promote their farming practices.
Through different strategic alliances, the coop has been able to build a virtual library, promote college scholarships, medical services, and they have been able to pay for a teacher at the local school. The coop currently employs 26 permanent employees and 34 seasonal employees.
The coop promotes the use of the by-products of coffee to elaborate other organic products and raw materials for the local market. The coop supports its members by providing seeds for home gardens, plantings for timber trees, backyard animals like chickens and ducks, cattle, and bee hives, encouraging farmers to be self-subsistent.