Trip report - Honduras and Nicaragua September 2017
Last month, I had the privilege of traveling to origin to visit producers, ministries, country quality institutes, and mills in Honduras and Nicaragua. What an incredible trip.
I traveled with Johnny Sommers of Say Yes Coffee and a board member of Redeemed Vocational School in Haiti. Fernando Bauman, the oldest son of one of the children's homes in Honduras, was our translator.
My goals for the trip were to strengthen the relationships with the ministries and producers and also connect the farmers we meet with to IHCAFE, Honduras' national coffee institute. By God's grace, the trip exceeded all of our expectations.
The primary focus of the trip was Honduras. We have been supporting the medical clinic in Carizal and wanted to meet the administrator. I also wanted to spend time with Serve Coffee's new direct relationship grower, Stanley Yoder of Buen Pastor.
Jonny and I started our trip by worshipping the Lord Jesus together with Chepino, Allen, a school principal, and Fernando. While our cultures and backgrounds are very different, there was a real connection as we worshipped together. By the end of our first full day there, I had already made the connection with Chepino I had hoped for.
Quality and ministry
During our trip, both Chepino and IHCAFE showed us great hospitality. Francisca Fernandez gave us a tour of IHCAFE's cupping facility at the national R&D center near Pena Blanca. Chepino also took time to not only take us up the mountain to El Cedral where we met Miguel Moreno, he also hosted us for lunch and an enjoyable afternoon together later in the week
Santa Barbara area
The first of three Cup of Excellence winning farms and farmers I met, Miguel Moreno.
The view of Lake Yojoa from near Miguel's finca.
I had the great privilege of spending a day with Stanley Yoder at Finca Buen Pastor, the winner of the 2007 Honduras Cup of Excellence competition.
At the falls on the farm
The catuai coffee Stanley is growing for me in peach and banana shade.
El Buen Pasteur butterfly. An 88 is an exceptional cupping score. El Buen Pastor won the Cup Of Excellence in 2007 with a score of 92.25, so we are curious to see how these coffees will cup next year.
"What is your vision for Nicaragua?"
The third Cup of Excellence producer we met was Luis Alberto Balladeros of Beneficio Las Segovia. This portion of the trip deserves it's own blog post and would not have been possible without the help of many. First, someone we met in the guest house in Honduras agreed to drive us to Nicaragua. Then, after we finally arrived in Ocotal, Nicaragua, Luis was incredibly generous with his time, hosting us for lunch, cupping exceptional coffees at his mill, then even driving us back to the border.
The bus ride to Ocotal after our vehicle couldn't cross the border.
Cupping incredible coffees with Luis.
The view from the cupping lab of Beneficio Las Segovia.
Our gracious host after taking us back to the border.
I hope to have a better answer for Luis next time we meet.
What a trip. I am thankful to God, to my travel companions, and to the many hospitable people who made this trip possible. May the connections we made result in better quality coffee for you and better lives for the people we met.
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