As explained by Marina Alvarez Perez, owner of El Cerro: In El Salvador when you say “Alvarez” you mean “coffee.” Since my grandfather, Rafael Alvarez Lalinde, arrived from Colombia In 1888 and began to plant coffee on the hillsides and volcanoes of El Salvador we have maintained this family tradition of being “cafetaleros” (coffee farmers). My father would ride his horse along his properties and I have also walked through every one of the 70 hectares of El Cerro. We continue planting 100% Bourbón, shade-grown coffee and still use traditional methods of soil conservation. We never considered growing any other varieties, nor did we consider cultivating coffee under direct sunlight when this was an Innovation. During the Civil War and the coffee crisis we continued working the farm even though this caused us monetary loss. We did this because we believe In coffee–It Is something that we carry In our blood. My grandchildren will be the fifth generation of coffee farmers. We feel proud of our finca, El Cerro, located at 1400-1500 meters ASL on the Santa Ana Volcano next to the National Park Los Andes. The quality of our coffee Is due to the rich volcanic soil, the traditional methods of cultivation, the dedication and excellent administration of the people who work the finca, and the processing which Is handled by El Borbollon, a coffee mill that Is owned by relatives of ours. The production of our wonderful coffee begins with the agile hands of the pickers (proudly, many of them feminine) that know how to select the perfect cherry, at the prime state of ripeness, which culminates Into the aroma of an excellent cup of coffee. During the harvest 250 people are employed In El Cerro and an average of 30 people work full time throughout the year. 7 families (a total of 27 people) live In the finca, some of which are the third generation born In El Cerro. We know every single one of them and we have always been concerned with their well being and have provided them with housing, water, health services, school support, and we also sponsor the local soccer team, “El Cerro.” After the 2001 earthquakes we rebuilt the main housing complex and every year we continue to make Improvements. For example, with part of the sale of this year's production we are planning on adding more kitchens and bathrooms. In keeping With our goal to Improve their quality of life and because we are concerned about El Salvador 's ecology we are also In the process of certifying our finca with the “Rainforest Alliance” program that protects the flora and fauna of our forests. As I contemplate the verdant hillsides of the coffee fincas, listen to the birdsongs streaming from the shade-tree canopies, or when I see the white veil of coffee blossoms that will soon transform Into the ruby red fruits I feel a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to know that I have fulfilled the legacy my ancestors granted me. Now, I share this honor with my children and I hope that my grandchildren will keep this tradition alive. May coffee continue running through their veins.
|Farm Name||El Cerro|
|Farmer/Rep.||Marina Estela Alvarez Perez|
|Size (30kg boxes)||16|
|Program||El Salvador 2005|
|Processing system||Wet Process|
|Coffee Growing Area||70|
|High bidders||Solberg & Hansen AS|