About Finca San Antonio
Alexa Marin grew up in a conservative, male-dominated community watching her single mother navigate between the work of the house and the work of the coffee farm, more often than not with a cigar dangling from her mouth. To say they were an anomaly is an understatement. But Alexa spent her childhood doing the typical things children of coffee farmers do: working in the nursery, sorting beans, and listening to her mother talk to the plants, which she insisted helped them grow. In this way, Alexa inherited her mother’s passion, independence, and an expansive generational knowledge of farming. Now a single mother of two herself, Alexa is not only a third-generation Nicaraguan coffee farmer, but a first-generation coffee producer. Continuing her mother’s legacy of playing against type.
Located in a mountain range full of pines and oaks, at an altitude of 1,250 meters above sea level, Alexa’s farm, Finca San Antonio, is 4 manzanas (2.8 hectares or 6.9 acres), which she manages with the help of the new generation, including sons Roberto Antonio (28, and the farm’s namesake) and Cristian Leonel (18). With invaluable knowledge passed down from generation to generation, Alexa has successfully grown Finca San Antonio from an empty plot of inherited land to a farm that produces approximately 5000 pounds of exportable coffee every year, of the Caturra varietal.
Along the way, the farm has faced new challenges that have forced Alexa to find new solutions. From war on the Honduran border to Hurricanes and plant disease, Alexa maintains that “In each obstacle there is opportunity.” When her farm was struck with a fungal blight called La Roya, “Leaf Rust,” Alexa found her biggest devastation and biggest opportunity rolled into one. From the initiatives to help affected farmers, Alexa leveraged reinvestment and education money and opportunities, partook of soil studies and trainings, and joined a cooperative. The knowledge, skills, and connections Alexa acquired through these efforts reshaped who she is as a person and a farmer.
“In the time of my mother, I remember, that she used to sell her coffee to other bigger producers. They would pay what they wanted. So, she worked a lot, but she never knew the quality of her coffee. She could never sell it for a price that really compensated for all the hard work because at the time the ones who decided were the ones who had more power and wealth,” Alexa laments. She knew she wanted to be like her mother: strong, independent, and passionate. But she never wanted to be overworked and undervalued, as her mother was. To guard against that, Alexa joined a cooperative and participated in the formation of an association, PRODECOOP RL, comprised of 38 cooperatives.
Today, Alexa melds the best of the scientific and market knowledge she has learned with the tried and true generational knowledge ingrained in her heart and land to farm the best coffee possible. Perhaps the greatest lesson Alexa will pass on to future generations of Finca San Antonio? Understand and appreciate your worth.
SIZE: 4 manzanas (approx. 6.9 acres)
ALTITUDE: 1250 masl
FLAVOR PROFILE: Honey; Cacao
LOCATION: Dipilto, Nicaragua
+505 8408 7865