Producer: Alma Menendez
Region: La Paz
Altitude: 1375 MASL
Flavor Notes: Cherry Cola, Red Apple, Nutmeg
This micro-lot was produced by Alma Menendez, one of the newest members of the Catracha producer group. Alma might be new to the Catracha group this year, but her husband Mariano, an agronomist with IHCAFE (Honduras’ national coffee institute), has been helping the Catracha group learn best agricultural practices for many years. While Mariano works full time for IHCAFE, Alma manages the day to day operations for their 30 acre farm called Finca Gosen.
Mayra Orellana-Powell founded Catracha Coffee Company to connect her coffee growing community with roasters. Ten years later, Catracha Coffee has gained momentum with more than 80 producers and 20 roasters working together on sustainable relationships and a profit sharing model, which has consistently paid at least $2.00 per pound directly to producers. This extra income helps increase each producer’s capacity to reinvest in their farm, and overtime, increase their standard of living.
The sale of Catracha Coffee also creates income for a non-profit called Catracha Community (a 501(1)(c)(3) nonprofit), which invests in income diversification opportunities without taking resources from a farmer’s bottomline.
Catracha Community hosts workshops for women and youth to learn craft making skills. Like the coffee, the focus is on quality. With the help of talented volunteers, the group has been able to make many beautiful things and sell them through our network of coffee friends. They even have a name for the group, Catracha Colectivo.
Catracha Community has also established an art residence and studio in Santa Elena to host artists from Honduras and around the world. These artists have been running art classes two days a week. Every week more than 30 children come and learn art. Art is now popping up everywhere around Santa Elena. There are more than 30 murals along the streets of Santa Elena, in peoples homes, and at many schools.
Catracha Community also funds gardening projects throughout Santa Elena. David Benitez, a Catracha Coffee producer, agronomist and school teacher, provides technical advice to families starting gardens. David is also growing seedlings and distributing to families, which has helped make seed more productive and easier for families to succeed at producing vegetables.
Funds from Catracha Community also support a local tree nursery, which produces 50,000 trees each year for Santa Elena’s communities and individuals asking for trees. Funds are also used in coordination with students at the agroforestry highschool in Santa Elena to give technical support for tree planting and follow- up cleaning and maintenance.
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