In the western side of the department of Huila, along the skirts of the central cordillera of Colombia, we encounter Paicol, a town with a vast heritage, first mentioned in the history books in 1701 because of two big haciendas that existedat the time, Villa Rosa and Villa Nury, where panela was produced in its trapiches. Hence, the town was known back then as “Trapiche de Paicol”. The town was later established by decree in 1810 and now a days, it has a beautiful colonial architecture and pebbled streets.
The Trapiche, where the name of this brand comes from, is the mill where the sugar cane is processed to extract the juice that is later heated in high tempe-ratures to finally produce the bricks of panela. Now a days it is common to see some coffee growers growing both sugar cane and coffee on their farms andhaving a small trapiche for fresh sugar cane juice or they also sell their sugar cane for panela production in centralized trapiches.
Paicol, is a well-known municipality in the area because of its ecotourism offerand its two main agricultural activities: cattle and coffee. It’s a semi mountainous area with a richness in water sources making the retention of humidity in the soil good for areas with high elevation, optimal for agriculture. This water richness along with the Paez river creates some of the main tourist attractions such as the Motilona Waterfall and Caja de Agua, a subterranean connection of caves with small waterfalls. The area has native forests and an ample biodiversity of native trees.
1,300 – 1,700 MASL
First semester: May – July
Second semester: October – December
Sun-dried on parabolic covered patios and raised beds.