As we enter into our third harvest with Finca NataMaya, we are excited to continue our relationship with producing partners Nena and Hermann Mendez.
Named after their two daughters, Natalia and Mayita, the Mendez’ purchased Finca NataMaya in 2005. The area, previously used for coffee cultivation, had been abandoned fifteen years prior. The farm is situated on Cerro del Aguila (Eagle Mountain) in the department of Sonsonate.
Finca NataMaya is planted with 62 hectares of coffee varieties, the majority of which are Bourbon and Pacas, growing at an altitude of 1,270 meters and continuing until 1,600 meters. To protect trees from the harsh winds that occur in this region, the farm uses a system of both vertical and horizontal windbreaks called “cortinas” that serve to protect cherries during severe weather. This practice is illustrated in the photo below.
In addition to coffee, there are 32 hectares of forest preserve with a variety of old growth Cypress, Oak and Cedar trees as well as many indigenous species. Half of this preserve is situated in a cloud forest, which ascends to the highest point of the farm at 2,035 meters. From Finca NataMaya, you can see a series of mountains within the Apaneca-Illamatepec range, as well as the nearby town of Juayúa.
In May of 2014, the Mendez began to experiment with several microlot varieties, including Kenya and Pacamara, which they planted at 1,600 meters.
Although Finca NataMaya is accessible by vehicle, it is quite remote. The local community of Ojo de Agua resides within the farm, whose members have inhabited this area for over 200 years. Due to its isolated location, the Mendez family has been passionate about collaborating closely and extensively with Ojo de Agua. Notable projects include a health clinic staffed with a physician, a primary school, a new soccer field for community members and students, a water tank, and latrines. These programs were made possible by donations from the Mendez Family, the SQ Foundation, and U.S. roasting partners Caffe Ladro and Zoka Coffee.
View a complete gallery of Finca NataMaya here: FINCA NATAMAYA GALLERY.