The Santa Elena area is home to an innovative program called Catracha Coffee. Founded by Mayra Orellana-Powell, this program is the actualization of a long-time dream "...of starting a coffee business that would have an impact in the community where she was born and raised."
The Catracha Coffee project helps increase the price farmers can earn per plant. Orellana-Powell works in conjunction with Royal Coffee (importer) to reach the overarching goal of "increasing the number of capacity building opportunities until every producer in Santa Elena has an opportunity to produce great coffee and access the specialty coffee market."
They accomplish this by holding monthly meetings for the area's farmers to improve topics ranging from plant nutrition, optimal harvesting practices, even to post-harvest drying protocols (and so very much more, that you can check out here).
Coffee farming has a tendency to be romanticized to the point we forget that this is the livelihood and income of most coffee producers. Reliable income made off of crops is paramount to the future of specialty coffee. That's why we love Catracha's buying and management of farmers' crops: they're paid nearly double the amount earned through Fair Trade--often far more than double depending on the quality of the lot. There's also greater stability working within the structure of Catracha because the farmer is paid twice in the process: once when the dried parchment coffee is delivered to Catchura from January to March and then again in July when the coffee is bought on the specialty coffee market.
Catracha Coffee is the sort of locally-entrepreneurial, empowering program that is the future of specialty coffee. We're extremely grateful for Catracha Coffee as well as Edmundo Sanchez (the farmer of Finca El Mango) for producing this wildly flavorful crop. It's something we've never tasted from a Honduran coffee before, and we're proud to offer this to you.
Region: La Paz, Santa Elena
Varietal: Bourbon, Catuaí
Growing Altitude: 1,800 masl