For every pack of Guatemala Pocola sold, Grumpy Mule will donate 20p to the Rubel Raxtu School to help buy equipment, books and furnishings and to support the education of the pupils in this coffee growing community.
If everyone gets behind us on this project, with a 20p per pack of coffee donation we hope to see a contribution of up to £2000 to the school which will have been directly influenced by you, the Grumpy Mule customer. Keep informed of ongoing progress via the Grumpy Mule website at www.grumpymule.co.uk/about/guatemala-pocola-school-project
Finca Santa Paula and the Producers
In January 2009 when Ian and Rob first visited Finca Santa Paula in Pocola, Cobán, they were greeted by a misty, cloud forest landscape dominated by strange, natural sink basins that the coffee trees were planted within. Bought in recent years by experienced coffee hands Christian Schaps & Roni Ascensio, and now under the watchful gaze of their farm manager Adalberto, the plantation had not been maintained but was uniquely situated and at a good height of 1400 metres.
A program of rehabilitation was fully underway, including the development of nurseries, new planting activity, heavy pruning of existing trees and the construction of drying facilities. The plantation of roughly 70 hectares had been planted with Caturra, Catuai and Catimor Arabica varietals, but the classic Costa Rican Arabica varietal Villa Sarchí was now being planted for the future.
The 2009 harvest would be the first under the new management team where the coffee cherries were harvested, processed, dried and exported by themselves rather than selling the coffee to the local market.
Coffee for Grumpy Mule!
We agreed to buy whatever specialty coffee they were able to produce from this 2009 harvest – this was still essentially an experimental lot – and they would work towards increasing the production and volume of high quality coffee over the next few years. We really hope to continue this working relationship into the future.
It could be argued it was a bit of a gamble to buy unknown coffee – it’s no surprise that we usually like to taste a coffee before we decide to buy it – but the reputations of this production team in producing fine coffee meant it was worth the risk! And we’re delighted to say that they’ve delivered on their word.
The Rubel Raxtul School
On their return from the trip to Finca Santa Paula, Rob talked about the community school that was located within the coffee farm and it seemed logical that if we were taking something away from the local area (ie the coffee) it would be great to put something back. By linking the project to each pack of coffee, it will allow you as the consumer to have a direct influence in Pocola.
Escuela Rubel Raxtul was named after the farmer who donated the land on which the school stands – the land is within the boundaries of the coffee farm Finca Santa Paula – and was opened in 1966. This school for 4 – 12 years old teaches over 200 boys and girls with lessons given in the local Q’eqchi language and Spanish. There are presently 7 teachers and 1 head teacher.
- Location: Pocola, Cobán in the Department of Alta Verapaz
1400 metres, cloud forest micro-climate
Caturra, Catuai, Catimor and planting Villa Sarchí Arabica
Some mechanical drying due to the humidity and wet climate
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