Pichingo is a small town nestled in the Comayagua Mountains of Honduras, just a little higher in elevation than Selguapa, a town where we’ve been buying coffee for several years. In both towns, the production of specialty coffee is increasingly proving its ability to earn genuine revenue, and consequently encouraging younger generations to stick around and sustain family land that has perhaps been producing coffee for generations, though only recently receiving equitable compensation for it.
We were first introduced to Selguapa in 2020, through our Montreal-based importing and producer-advocacy partner, Semilla Coffee. We started this relationship by featuring a selection from one particular farmer whose quality was already proven, and whose success and diligence have been a hallmark of coffee’s potential for the broader community. Following this initial purchase, we expressed interest in working with producers whose coffees were not yet necessarily at the caliber to be isolated as micro-lots, but who nonetheless were enmeshed in the same social support system that might lead them to greater earnings in the years ahead. In each season since, Semilla has put together lots that are just that, and titled each of them Sueños, in acknowledgment of the dreams of those producers.
This year, those individuals are Disnel Ramirez and Celia Portillo, the cousin and aunt-in-law of legendary Selguapa producer, Jesus Galeas. Here, on a farm with parcels divided among the family members, classic varieties such as Typica, Catuaí, and Bourbon are grown and processed to great effect, and we’re honored to serve them.
Measuring success in a coffee-producing community is never simple or straightforward, but we have reason to believe that the work Semilla is doing in Selguapa and Picingo imparts a meaningful positive impact to the families that call it home. Although migration out of Honduras remains a massive reality, with remittances from abroad comprising a startling portion of the country’s overall GDP, Selguapa’s hard-earned success is beginning to challenge this trend for coffee-growing families. In Semilla’s own words, “These producers and their families have something to be proud of and look forward to, such that putting themselves at great risk doesn’t become a necessity for them.”
As we continue working with Semilla in Honduras and beyond, these are truly the types of projects that excite us the most.
In the cup, we taste butterscotch, praline, and Meyer lemon.