During February we visited El Salvador and spent some time in the wonderful company of our friends at Jasal, Las Lajas and Monte Sion. It was our first visit to this stunningly beautiful country nestled between Guatemala and Honduras sitting on the Pacific Ocean coast.
Our first port of call was at Jasal, hosted by the President José Antonio Salaverria Balzaretti and his two son’s Jose and Andres. We were staying on site at The Mill in the Apaneca – Llamatepec which processes washed, semi washed and natural coffee’s. During our stay with the Salaverria family we visited many farms including Santa Rita, San Francisco, San Felipe, El Molino and Guadalupe.
This gave us a great insight into the quality and passion shown at Jasal and taking in the many varietals including Bourbon, Catuai and Caturra. All the farms we visited were certified Rainforest Alliance, a certification which is extremely popular in this area of Central America.
Our second visit took us to visit Las Lajas in Canton where we were shown round the Mill and given a presentation by the Manager, Herman. Sadly we had missed production and the last remaining coffee was sun drying on the patio. Established in 1980, this group has 201 members effecting the lives of some 722 families within the region. A significant number we noted was that over 25% of the members are now female and this continues to increase and is actively encouraged by the group.
Our final visit took us to Monte Sion. On the Apaneca Mountain Range. This was going to be an interesting visit as we were already working with the group so it was of great relevance. We spent a day with Dr Luis Urrutia and his daughter Lilliana and visited the Monte Sion and Shekinah Estates where our Boubon Gourmet coffee is grown.
We also spent some time at the weigh stations, and learned much more about the amazing work which is done at this family owned group which was formed in 1907 and are delighted to have formed a direct supply agreement with Lilliana and Dr Urrutia.