Farm: Finca El Pamarito
Varietal: Caturra, Bourbon, Catimor
Altitude: 1,700 to 1,900 masl
Owner: Carlos Gómez
Town / City: San Antonio La Paz
Region: El Progreso
Sierra de las Minas - Guatemala
Located within the expansive Sierra de las Minas mountain range in eastern Guatemala, Finca El Pamarito reaps the benefits of its proximity to such a towering geologic structure. Extending 15-30 km, hugged by the valleys of the Polochic, Motagua and Salamá rivers create varying biomes and provide producers with the ideal climate and soil to grow coffee, rice, and maize. The name translates to ‘mountain range of the mines’ due to the jade, marble and other mineral quarries. The Sierra de las Minas range is home to Mesoamerica’s largest cloud forests and houses a biodiverse array of ecosystems. Approximately 70% of all bird and mammal species in Guatemala and Belize are located within this mountainous region. Some species include the margay, cougar, and the iconic quetzal.
Forty years ago, Don Higinio Gómez, previous owner of Finca El Pamarito, was the first producer in the area to transition to coffee rather than continuing potato production which was more common at the time. Now, Don’s son Carlos runs and manages the 60-ha farm that is carefully intercropped with native forest shade. Thanks to the rich environment, the soils are healthy and able to support diverse vegetation. The coffee agroecosystem created here mirror what other producers in the region aim to achieve – a harmonious balance between agriculture and the environment.
The farm is planted with an assortment of Bourbon, Pache San Ramón in addition to a collection of unidentified yellow varietals. The cooler temperatures and higher altitudes allow for a slower maturation of the coffee cherry, improving sugar development and improving quality. Once picked, the coffee is carefully transported to Beneficio La Esperanza to be processed in Antigua.