Growing fine coffees in a exceptional terroir
The verdant, rugged Huehuetenango highlands are one of the best coffee production regions in Guatemala. Protected from frost by hot winds blowing in from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain to warm the Cuchumatanes, it is the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America. It is here, in the municipality of Cuilco, that Hermilo Pérez has been running his family farm for 25 years.
Starting at about 1,425 metres above sea level and reaching up to some 1,900 metres above sea level, El Kristal farm covers roughly 9 hectares. In its lush, black soil Hermilo cultivates primarily coffee, which includes the Arabica varieties caturra, bourbon, catuaí, pacamara and pache colís. He also grows fruits and macadamia nuts, while an additional acre of the farm is covered by forest.
Improving social and environmental standards
Hermilo first learned about the AAA Program through an agronomist from Exportcafe, one of the Nespresso main partners in the country. “Of course the better prices they offered was an interesting incentive, but it was also the prospects of improving the conditions of the farm, and raising the profile of our coffee without damaging our natural resources that convinced me to join the Nespresso AAA Program,” Hermilo said.