Ana grew up with her grandparents and from a young age, helped on the farms by picking cherries and taking care of coffee plants which eventually fueled her passion to become a coffee producer. She sees coffee farming as a way of life - it's the source of joy, happiness, and challenges for her and her family. She is frequently challenged as the leader of her farm especially while managing male workers who are not used to female leaders. Nevertheless, she focuses on the positive aspects of the process and continues to learn and grow in the art of coffee production. She is an inspiring leader, mother, and a life-long learner. Although she has not received formal education, she radiates love, joy, and curiosity to learn more and further improve the quality of her cherries and roasts. She aspires to share her coffee with a global audience and fulfill her own dream of traveling the world with her coffee.
Grace is known as the innovator and dreamer. With a background in teaching, she embodies the definition of a life long learner. Her farm features a wide variety of coffee plants and an array of herbs, horticulture, and butterflies. Her passion and love for nature led her to maintain her farm as organically as possible. A few years ago, she initiated a small project to nurture a butterfly garden in her backyard. With her dream to share her learnings with the community, she opened the butterfly garden for local tourists. What makes her initiative even more meaningful by hiring at-risk youths from the region to lead the tour, providing them with an alternative way to spend time, and gain hard and soft skills. Her dream is to grow her farm as eco-friendly as possible while sharing her passion and love for nature and coffee with the customers.
Leida spent her childhood in her father’s organic coffee farm. However, the yield of coffee saw a significant drop, which caused her father to abandon coffee production, eventually passing the farm to Leida. She later revived the coffee production tradition but has been unable to revive her father’s organic methods. Due to the ‘roya’ plagues, her coffee farm has been affected again, which caused her to start exploring sustainable production options. She wants to continue producing the small quantity of coffee that she currently has, but hopes to gradually implement sustainable practices by deepening her knowledge on the use of natural fertilizers. Her dream is to produce sustainable coffee that she can process in her own farm, and become a bigger part of the story.
Quality is all that matters for Ericka. She runs a 'micro' micro-lot but ensures that every single bean is of the highest quality. After being treated with a bone tumor in 2015, Ericka and her family considered selling their land to pay for her medical costs. They were earning barely enough to pay for her treatment, let alone the costs of managing a coffee farm. Today, she is able to capitalize on her coffee while getting proper rehabilitation and care. Ericka lives with her husband, Ruben, who does the farming, and three daughters, all of whom play crucial roles from helping process the coffee to keeping the books. Together, they hope to support Ericka run one of the finest artisanal coffee farms in Costa Rica.
Cristina began her journey in coffee when she inherited a piece of land from her father. Her family was previously not involved in coffee and the land was not used for any agricultural purposes. When she got married, she collaborated with her husband to work on the land for productive purposes. One of the first few agricultural products that they planted on the small piece of land was coffee. They quickly fell in love with their coffee plantation, and have continued cultivating until today. Every year, they have a tiny harvest from their 1 hectare coffee farm. Due to volatile coffee prices, they have diversified their farm to have a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Her dream is to ensure the sustainability of her coffee farm for future generations.
Aracelly's childhood memories revolve around coffee. She fondly recalls the way her beloved late mother drank coffee throughout the entire 24-hour day, and still keeps her father’s hand-crafted burlap coffee sacks as keepsakes in her kitchen. She also takes great pride in her share of her mother’s coffee farm, which was divided into six shares of land between Aracelly and her siblings after she passed away. Aracelly adopted her mother’s matriarchal role when she passed - she cooks every meal for her elder brother and treats the rest of her very large family to endless homemade empanadas and agua dulce. Her tiny house lovingly overflows with her family, young and old.
Aracelly sees working in coffee as a way to continue the legacy of her mother’s past involvement in the industry. She is always one to jot down detailed notes about how to improve her coffee during our training sessions and has excitedly adopted these new techniques - such as vermicomposting - to benefit the quality of her product.