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Producer: Urizar Fernaldy, Peña Roja, La Democracia, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Producer: Urizar Fernaldy, Peña Roja, La Democracia, Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Farm: El Paraíso

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

Urizar's journey is one of resilience and ambition. Growing up without his father, he was raised by his grandfather while his mother sought a better life in the United States. In 2010, Urizar took over the family farm and embarked on a mission to revolutionize coffee cultivation. He introduced innovative techniques, specialized fermentations, meticulous drying processes, and established direct connections with buyers.

(Urizar Fernaldy)

But Urizar's vision extends beyond his own success. He dreams of creating a sustainable coffee industry and has been sharing his knowledge with neighboring producers, aiming to improve not only his family's life but the lives of others in the community, including his wife Yosairy and their newborn son, Jorge. His ultimate goal is to establish a coffee mill that benefits small producers, nurturing a shared love for coffee.

Nature thrives around the El Paraíso farm. Towering cliffs, ranging from 2,500 to 3,000 meters high, surround the area. Lush forests and coffee plantations dot the landscape, providing a habitat for deer, birds, and rodents. Abundant spring water sustains the land, fostering a harmonious relationship between the producers and their natural surroundings.

The high altitude naturally protects coffee plants from rust, but other diseases require attention. Urizar employs minimal pesticide use and deploys natural "Broca" traps. He also turns coffee pulp into compost, enriching the soil and nourishing the coffee plants.

El Paraíso has come a long way since Urizar's grandfather's time when it was dedicated to livestock, corn, and tobacco. Today, coffee is the primary crop, thriving at an impressive altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. The cooler climate enhances the coffee cherries' maturation, resulting in a more complex flavor profile.

Since 2019, Urizar has partnered with San Miguel Coffees, receiving guidance and support to elevate the quality of his harvests. This partnership promises exciting developments for the future, including the cultivation of the coveted Geisha variety, and don’t we all know here at Proud Mary Coffee we can never have enough Geisha.

(the view from El Paraíso)

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