Varieties: Pacar, Pache, and some Catimor
Processing: Washed and Sun Dried on Patios
Region: Santa Cruz El Naranjo, Santa Rosa
Growing Altitude: 1500m
Dark chocolate, Peach, Balanced with a buttery mouthfeel
Los Mezcales was founded over 30 years ago. It was founded by my father and his brothers. Currently, we have the varieties Pacar, Pache, and some Catimor. Daniel Culex is the person who works in Los Mezcales, he is the one responsible for making sure everything is being done at the farm. We have 4 full-time employees, and for the harvest season, we hire 8 more (family members of the other 4). Los Mezcales is not the only farm we have but is the one with the higher altitude, and better varieties of coffee.
Besides my Monday to Friday job, I also drive for Lyft, I was driving one night and met a really kind lady who after I told her what I wanted to do, she referred me with someone who knew Josue Morales. We got in touch last year and I traveled to Guatemala at the beginning of this year to meet him. My long-term project for Los Mezcales is to make it my signature farm. I want to open a coffee shop here in the U.S. where I can promote the coffee I grow and also implement a better quality work system for my neighbors, in that way, I will be able to buy coffee from them as well. My goal for all this is to find a balance in prices to be able to secure better wages for my coworkers at the farm and provide them better opportunities because I want to make sure that the benefit either my family or my neighbors get, will be also transmitted to the one who actually makes the farms become alive. For the moment, I have given them some increases, but I’m covering that extra money with my jobs I have here in the U.S.
Los Mezcales farm has a really special place in my heart, I remember being really excited for going there when my dad was alive. We used to go there in the Harvesting time and cook for everyone. There was a neighboring land that we used to go to slide and a small river in between where we used to go to look for crabs. But, after my dad passed away, we almost lost everything. I was 14 years old (my dad passed away the month I turned 14) at the time. My family and I weren't really aware of how to manage the farm or work with coffee. My uncles were also facing a hard time. My mom took over to manage the farm that year, and even though the harvest was good, a lot of expenses were made after my father's death, so that money wasn’t enough. My oldest brother who at the time was already living in the U.S. (he has 20 years old at the time) left school and focused on working to send money back to Guatemala to help my mom and the farm. Little by little the farm was losing its brightness. Prices weren't good as well, and after all this, the Roya also showed up stronger than ever before. We had a hard time. At the time, I was already working partially for my mom to help her with the farm as a driver, and going to school. Time passed by and little by little I learned to coordinate work and learned from others about what was good and what wasn't good to apply in the farm. I left the university and I started a fruit delivery business with 50 dollars, 2 years later, before moving to the U.S. I had sold for over 15,000 dollars per month during high seasonal demand. I sold my business and started my own farm 4 years ago. Since then, I've been working directly with Daniel Culex to make sure that my mom's farm is being improved and also, my own farm is also growing as expected. Nowadays, My mom and I have 6 different pieces of land distributed at different altitudes, and even though I'm working almost the same way on all of them to improve the quality of the coffee, I’m investing more in Los Mezcales to improve its quality. Since, I moved to the U.S. I've been going to school and had been very lucky to have found a job that has provided me growing opportunities, in which I went from washing lenses to the AR department's leadership position and also, support me on my trips when I have to go back to Guatemala for the harvesting time. Currently, I'm studying a Business associate degree at PCC and keep driving for Lyft during my weekends. However, I’m taking this Fall term off from school because I want to focus on getting enough money to cover the expenses for the 2017-18 harvesting season, so I can make sure my coworkers get the money they need back in Guatemala. I’m very thankful because these two jobs have been a great opportunity for me to provide to my coworkers the money they need to keep working and also invest on the improvement of the farm and acquire more land.
I have a great confidence that Los Mezcales coffee will be the first one that will stand out and go back to the same brightness it had when my dad was alive. And that I will accomplish my father's dream of exporting high-quality coffee to the U.S. and make sure that my coworkers get better salaries than the ones they ever have had.