silvio sanchez - santa teresa de mogoton
It is common knowledge that in Nicaragua infrastructure is behind that of the Western world. The road to Finca Santa Teresa de Mogoton is a perfect example of this fact, it only serves a handful of coffee plantations and I doubt it has ever been renovated since its construction. Deep trenches formed by heavy rainfall line the dirt road and challenge even the strongest 4x4 trucks; which are also the vehicle of choice for all coffee transportation in this area. On our way to the finca we came across several workers walking along the road looking for cellular connection in order to speak to family, lovers or friends. This is one of the many sacrifices the people who work on the plantations in this remote area make as it is common practice to stay for a couple of weeks at a time.
The pine trees in this area make it hard to imagine that I am in Central-America here, it makes for an stunning view and a coffee plantation like I have never seen before. The trees rise up high before growing branches and the shade makes for a spooky look of the deep green coffee trees. This farm is purpose-built to grow specialty coffee and the main crop is Catuaí with some Catimor and even a few micro-lots of the rare Java, a somewhat mystical varietal from Indonesia which results in floral, Ethiopian-like, notes in the cup. The plantation is well-organized with neat rows of young coffee trees. Only four years have passed since the first seeds were planted and last year the first few bags of coffee were harvested but both quantity and quality will increase tremendously as the plants need some time to develop.
Silvio has studied agronomy and his mom really loved coffee; they saved up, took a loan and bought a secluded but excellent piece of land in the mountainous region of Northern Nicaragua. This young guy, I estimate to be around 30 years of age, told me this tale like it was nothing; it was only natural to him. I later realized that this is not much different than the stories you may hear in Europe: study, find your passion, create a startup and do with you do best. I used to thinkof coffee farmers as old men who have been farming all of their lives, now I know that this is only partially true. It turned out to be that coffee producers are not that different than Western entrepreneurs.
La Union, San Fernando, Nueva Segovia
1500 meters above sea level
Catuaí. Catimor, Java