Reniery Sánchez has a 3.5-acre farm called El Cerro in the community of Aguanqueterique. He lives in the nearby community of Llano Alegre with his wife and two children. In prior years, Reniery has sold his family's coffee in cherry to the local middleman. For the last two years he has been working with Catracha Coffee. During this time, he has improved his farm management practices using lime to control the pH of his soil, fertilizing with organic compost, and spraying organic fungicides to control levels of leaf rust. These actions have improved the health of his farm and the quality of his coffee production. Reniery has learned to process coffee using his father’s micro-mill so that he can depulp, ferment, wash and dry his coffee before delivering it to Catracha Coffee. With profits from the sale of his first micro-lot, Reniery renovated a fermentation tank, built raised drying tables, and purchased a motor to run his depulper. This allowed him to process and deliver more coffee to Catracha this year.
Mayra Orellana-Powell founded Catracha Coffee Company to connect her Coffee growing community with roasters. Ten years later, Catracha Coffee has gained momentum with more than 80 producers and 20 roasters working together on sustainable relationships and a profit sharing model, which has consistently paid at least $2.00 per pound directly to producers. This extra income helps increase each producer’s capacity to reinvest in their farm, and overtime, increase their standard of living.
The sale of Catracha Coffee also creates income for a non-profit called Catracha Community (a 501(1)(c)(3) nonprofit), which invests in income diversification opportunities without taking resources from a farmer’s bottomline. Catracha Community hosts weekly workshops for women and youth to learn craft making skills. Like the coffee, the focus is on quality. With the help of talented volunteers, the group has been able to make many beautiful things and sell them through our network of coffee friends. They even have a name for the group, Catracha Colectivo. Catracha Community has also established an art residence and studio in Santa Elena to host artists from Honduras and around the world. These artists have been running art classes two days a week for over a year. Every week more than 30 children come and learn art. Art is starting to pop up everywhere around Santa Elena. There are more than 30 murals along the streets of Santa Elena, in peoples homes, and at many schools. During the COVID 19 pandemic, group activities have been suspended but women continue to make crafts and also masks to earn extra income. Artists have been visiting homes to paint small works of art on windows and doors. They have also been painting stools and selling them for extra income. Many families are also starting family gardens and trading seed to diversify their harvest.