Dulce Meloso is a Catracha community blend of catuai selected from Simeon Ventura, Justiniano Sánchez, Jose Isabel Sánchez, and Jose Nectali Vásquez. Each producer attends monthly workshops to learn farm management practices such as applying lime to control the pH of the soil, fertilizing with organic compost, and spraying organic fungicides to control levels of leaf rust. They have also learned to process coffee using the same procedures at each individual micro-mill to depulp, ferment and dry coffee before delivering it to Catracha Coffee. These actions have improved the health of the farm and the quality of coffee production. Each producer is paid a premium based on the quality of their coffee. This extra income increases each producer’s capacity to reinvest in their farm, and overtime, increase their standard of living.
Mayra Orellana-Powell founded Catracha Coffee Company to connect her coffee growing community with roasters. Nearly 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.
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 bottom line.
Catracha Community host 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. We 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 people’s homes, and at many schools.