Mayorga in Panama
HACIENDA LA ESPERANZA
Boquete, Chiriquí, Panamá
Panama, the natural land bridge between Central and South America, has many excellent coffee growing regions. Mayorga sources coffee from the Boquete region.
Panama is on the rise. It boasts a rapidly growing economy and its capital, Panama City, has both a cityscape of modern skyscrapers and an old quarter of colonial buildings. Tourism has grown very rapidly in Panamá and it is always an exciting country to visit.
The coffee farm is close to 100 hectares with 5 hectares of new Geisha plants. There are 250 hectares of highland cloud forest that limit with “Parque La Amistad” a bio-diversity protected national park.
Region: Boquete, Chiriqui
Producer: Maria Clara & Jose Pretto
Farm name: Hacienda La Esperanza
Year farm was bought: 1960
Elevation: 3,937-5,249 feet above sea level
Varietals: Baby Geisha, Borbon, Typica, Maragogype, Mundo Novo, Caturra, Catuai
Harvest Season: October-April
Certified Organic since year: 2007
Cup profile: Light sweetness, rich and complex cup. Aftertaste is of a nutty, full mouth flavor that remains in the taste buds easily. Usually cups between 89 and 92.
Time it takes to get to farm from main international airport: Panama City to David: 35 min by airplane and 40 min drive from David to Boquete Panama City to Boquete road: 7-hour drive.
History of farm and other info:
Possibly their biggest secret is the abundance of water springs through out the farm. Currently it sources aprox 1/3 of the town’s farm areas with both drinking water and water for crop irrigation.
La Esperanza is invested in the resurgence of the farm animal as a complement for both work and tourism. A team of 5 mules currently carry the sacs of full ripe coffee beans from the field to the weighing station. This allows for workers to spend valuable time picking beans instead of walking long distances with very heavy coffee sacs over their shoulders. The near future plan is for visitors to enjoy either horse or mule rides through the 3 circumvent trails that surround La Esperanza’s hills and experience the coffee plantation’s heartland.
La Esperanza has also recently certified its sugar cane as organic. They are installing a sugar mill ( trapiche ) to produce panela (piloncillo, raspadura).
In this area, coffee plantations have been traditionally tended and harvested by the Ngöble Buglé native population. In Hacienda La Esperanza they find three generations of workers from original populations, who pass on the tradition of taking care of this fine crop. The commitment to building new homes for the 25 families that are stable year round workers is under way. Recently finished is a soccer field and a safe enclosed area for younger children to play. Hacienda La Esperanza assists with the purchase of school supplies at the beginning of each academic year (38 children – 12 years and under).
Workers are encouraged to plant several food products for their own use such as bananas, pota- toes, yuca, carrots, corn and various vegetables. Also allowed to keep enclosed, hens, chickens and ducks for their consumption.
Women sew their colorful dresses and weave the traditional “chacara” a colorful sac that is hung by a shoulder strap and is used by both men and women. This is a potential source of income that is promoted as visitors increase in the area.
Walking and horse back riding trails are available and encouraged with the participation of the native young adults in La Esperanza, as guides. The Ngöble Buglé in La Esperanza are very proud of their traditional values and know the terrain as the palm of their hand.
Hacienda La Esperanza is part of a family trust that has as a main objective the promotion of higher education. Founder Abraham Pretto’s legacy is one of preserving natural resources and promoting opportunities for marginal rural communities so that they can stay in their habitat with good paying jobs.
IMAGES FROM OUR RECENT VISITS TO PANAMÁ