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Producer: Don Higinio & Doña Auro, San Antonio La Paz, Guatemala
Producer: Don Higinio & Doña Auro, San Antonio La Paz, Guatemala

Farm: Las Moritas

James Fairbrass avatar
Written by James Fairbrass
Updated over a week ago

Let's journey back to 1988 when Don Higinio and his wife, Doña Aura, embarked on an adventure by purchasing their first piece of land, which they lovingly named San José Las Moritas. Little did they know that Las Moritas would be just the beginning of their farming legacy.

(Don Higinio)

The first coffee seeds they planted here were a precious gift from Don Higinio's father. Starting with less than a hectare of land, they began cultivating Bourbon trees. With each passing year, they expanded their domain, acquiring more land for Las Moritas. Today, San Jose Las Moritas comprises multiple parcels of land, including Cerro de Oro, El Potrero, La Camioneta, and La Posa. Real Café Los Planes and Moritas Vista Real are also distinct farms falling under the Las Moritas coffee umbrella. Within these parcels, a rich tapestry of coffee varieties thrive, including red and yellow Bourbon, Pache, Pacamara, Castillo, Typica, Catuaí, and Caturra. Providing shade you will find inga, pine, and avocado trees. Las Moritas also diversifies its crops, cultivating corn, beans, tomatoes, and peaches for local markets.

Spanning an altitude range of 1,200 to 1,800 meters, Las Moritas boasts an array of terrains, soils, and microclimates, creating diverse conditions for coffee growth. Of its 70 hectares of land, 56 are dedicated to coffee. The farm's landscape varies from plains to hills, mountains, and even cliffs, where the diligent workers somehow manage to harvest. The soil tells a unique story in each area, shaped by the crops that once thrived there. In the last harvest alone, Las Moritas contributed around 4,860,000 pounds of cherries to Beneficio La Esperanza (Los Volcanes’ mill).

(San José Las Moritas)

The yearly coffee harvest at Las Moritas kicks off in November, starting in the lower regions and concluding in April at the highest points. It's a magnificent blend of old coffee varieties growing in a charmingly chaotic layout alongside newly planted trees in meticulously planned rows. Here, coffee plants of all ages coexist, with renovations driven by selective pruning and the replacement of deceased plants. To combat the dry climate, an ingenious irrigation system has been implemented. Reservoirs feed water into tubes that traverse the coffee plots, utilizing gravity to distribute life-sustaining water to the plants.

San José Las Moritas is a testament to the enduring legacy of Don Higinio and Doña Aura, a sprawling realm where the art of coffee cultivation meets innovation, diversity, and a deep connection to the land.

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