SANTA CLARA ESTATE

Country: Guatemala
Region: Antigua
Owners: Zelaya family – headed by Ricardo
Altitude: 1,600-1,830 meters
Variety: Bourbon and Caturra
Processing: Washed

This beautiful coffee is produced by the Zelaya family – now headed by Ricardo. The Zelaya’s have been growing coffee for four generations, for over 100 years. They know what they are doing!

Santa Clara Estate is located between 1600 and 1830 meters above sea level, on the fertile slopes of the Volcan de Agua – one of three volcanoes which border the Antigua Valley.

Ricardo and his family spare no expense and leave ‘no stone unturned’, in their pursuit of excellence; possessing some of the most impressive (and meticulously maintained) processing and drying equipment in Guatemala. They also ensure that all organic material and the water used in growing and processing the coffee is recycled and reused. The coffee is shade grown and handpicked, wet processed, fermented and then dried in custom made greenhouse style canopies which ensure excellent temperature and humidity control.

The Zelaya family is much loved – and for good reason, they treat their 25 permanent and 330 casual employees like family. The farm has a permanent school with 3 full-time teachers to educate the permanent workers 50 children. They also teach and train the casual employees in jewelry, candy and sandal making to ensure that they have full-time work throughout the year and not just during harvest time. Ricardo’s daughter, Isabel – who has a degree in Special Education has also set up the Santa Clara Scholarship fund which now supports 21 school and university students, by providing them assistance with their books, tuition fees and uniforms. Isabel hopes to have this program formally recognized as not-for-profit so that other children from the surrounding communities and townships may be eligible for it’s support.

It’s easy to see why we love working with Ricardo – not only is his coffee clean, bright, juicy and sweet, but he and his family have a passion and zest for people and for life, that’s contagious!