Daniel and four of his family members work the coffee farm with help from an additional 50 workers during the harvest. It can sometimes be difficult to locate employees since many Nicaraguans are migrating to other countries for work. In order to combat this challenge, Daniel creates jobs for the locals and ensures his employees are paid fair wages.
During the harvest, when the coffee cherries are fully ripe, they are selectively handpicked and placed in small plastic boxes before being transported to the wet mill. The cherries are cleaned and sorted before being trucked to the Sajonia Estate dry mill, 62 kilometers away. At the dry mill, the cherries are evenly dispersed on raised beds in the open sun to dry for 8 hours. Afterwards, the cherries are moved to shaded beds to dry for an additional 28 – 30 days. Once the ideal moisture content is attained, the coffee is hulled and prepared for export.
Introduced into the country in the mid-1800s and forming a central position in the country’s economy for more than a century, coffee is currently Nicaragua’s primary export. Its production generates over $448 million dollars a year in exports, representing 8.2% of overall exports, and provides more than 200,000 jobs to locals.