Finca La Pia
Region: Palencia, Fraijanes, Guatemala (just an hour outside of Guatemala City)
Owner/ Manager: Victor Calderon
Owned since/ Founded in: 2000
Farm Size: 160 Hectares with a bit over half protected as a forest reserve.
Total Production: 250-500 69kg bags Green
Varietals: Bourbon & Caturra
Shade Trees: Gravilea, Cuje and Avocado trees, as well as some native trees such as pines and cypress.
Rainfall: 1,200mm approx
Altitude: 1700-1800 masl
Water supply: spring with 100% potable water.
Method of fertilizer: Lombricommpost (California red worm composted organic material), Manure and nitrogen fixating plants.
Processing Methods: Fully washed.
Don Florencio Calderon acquired a farm by the coast back in 1885. The farm focused on volume production, and Don Florencio’s descendants kept this business model for and generations. The Calderon family in descending order from Don Florencio, Don Marcos his son, Victor his grandson, Marcos, his great grandson and father of the current Victor Calderon have been in coffee for almost all of Guatemala’s coffee history. Along the way, there have been different professions, but they always come back to coffee. For example, Victor’s grandfather, Don Victor senior collaborated with Dr.Rodolfo Robles in discovering the microfilaria parasite that is transmitted by mosquito bites in some regions
of Africa and Central America, and that causes a disease that renders the patient blind. Field work leading up this this discovery took place in their coffee plantations in Guatemala.
However as fascinating as the long coffee history may be, it has been kept alive by the vision of Don Victor Calderon who noticed the changing trends in the coffee industry and let go the coastal operations of mass produced coffee to specialize in fine coffees. The coastal farms are more suitable for rubber plantations, and soon they turned to rubber 100%.
He acquired La Pia in 2000, and has focused on specialty coffee. The farm, as well as producing coffee, is also producing avocado, and some other native fruits to the area. By diversifying the plantation, don Victor has achieved an interesting balance that allows for a very efficient and productive land. The farm is also only planted with coffee in areas that allows for easy and safe movement for the pickers and farm workers.
The other half of the farm is steep slopes, rocky terrain and thus been left alone. It is certified by the Guatemalan Institute for forest protection, and registered as a natural reserve, which gives the farm an enclosure that only thick natural forest can provide.