PARTNER´S NAME : LIDIA MAJIN PAPAMIJA
FINCA LA PIRAGUA STORY
As you arrive to finca la Piragua, you see a big field of pitaya (or dragon fruit) plantations. When you arrive to the Vargas Family’s house you ask yourself, where’s the coffee? But pitaya is how Alexander Vargas diversifies his crops. Coffee has always played a major part in Alexander Vargas’ life as he comes from a coffee growing family. Around the year 2000, he decided to start producing coffee on his own. He acquired a piece of land, that was a shrubland, and he dedicated to cleaning the land and plant his first coffee trees. He has expanded the farm since then. One of the most special characteristics of Finca La Piragua is that Alexander built it and adapted it to be a coffee plantation from scratch. His hard work and dedication have made Finca la Piragua one of his most treasured and prized possessions. He is very proud to say that everything he owns was created by him and his family. Today, he has 10 hectares of coffee, 7 of them are under production and the rest grown with dragon fruit. Alexander works together with his wife Lidia to process and to produce specialty coffee. Alexander takes care of harvesting coffee trees, and together with Lidia, they both take care of the fermentation and drying processes.
In around 2006, Alexander decided to focus on producing solely specialty coffees as a way to add value and find recognition for his hard work on every lot that he delivered. This combined with his desire to continue what he was doing, but to do it more productively in order to offer his family a greater level of economical sustainability. To achieve this, he started working with a coffee group called Café Quebradón, where he learned and gained much experience and knowledge. After his stint at the group, he continued working as an independent producer, applying everything that he had learnt to his farm. Alexander is always looking for ways to improve and is he is currently working on improving processes and infrastructure to offer roasters better quality.
First semester: May – August
Second semester: September – December
Carful selection and sorting of cherries, fully washed and traditionally fermented for 24 hours.
No shade, few fruit trees.
First stage drying on raised beds and then oncovered patios.