About Finca Alborada
As an 8-year old, Ivania Calderon’s day on her grandmother’s coffee farm started at 2:00 in the morning, when she’d help her mother by making the tortillas for the workers’ breakfast. “Because I was so little, my mother would set up some wood crates for me so I could reach the rocks to grind the corn.” The two had returned to the family farm when Ivania was an infant, her mother a 15-year old with no other prospects. The deal? The duo could stay; they’d just have to work to earn their keep. One of the earliest lessons Ivania learned? Coffee means food. Coffee means clothes (Ivania would do extra work on the farm to earn money to buy clothes for the holidays). Coffee means survival. She both loved the coffee farm and hated it.
So, it’s no surprise that Ivania left as a teenager to go work in the city at a bank. She had experienced the hard labor of farm work relished the idea of laboring intellectually in an office. But when the bank closed, and Ivania’s severance wasn’t enough to see through the completion of the house she was building, Ivania remembered the earliest lesson she learned: Coffee means food. Coffee means clothes. Coffee means survival. Although Ivania had gotten a job with a cooperative, she was shaken by the unpredictability of office work. That’s when she realized what coffee truly mean to her: stability. So, with her three children to worry about feeding and educating, Ivania did the one thing she never thought she’d do, she bought a farm with her uncle.
Now a coffee producer, and third-generation coffee farmer, Ivania’s beautiful and remote farm, Finca Alborada, produces over 40,000 pounds of green coffee every year. At 12 manzanas (20.7 acres), Finca Alborada is located at 1250 meters above sea level on Kilambé Mountain, a natural reserve in the heart of Central America that is home to 40 rivers and over 200 different species of flora and fauna. How does Ivania manage to work in the cooperative and farm the coffee on her land? With her mother’s help, of course. Ivania and her mother chose the farm’s name, Ablorada together. It means Dawn. At whatever point in their lives they were helping each other out, on whichever farm they were working together, the first thing Ivania and her mother have always done when they get up at dawn is make a cup of coffee. “There is no morning without coffee,” Ivania reflects.
What does the next generation think about the coffee farming life?
“At first my kids used to say: ‘sell the farm mom,’ but I always saw it as my working capital. Now my kids are more motivated by the coffee business. 3 of my kids have already graduated from college. One is still in college and 1 is in high school. My older son studied agribusiness and marketing and plans on using his knowledge to support our farm and is motivated with making the jump to entrepreneurship. My older daughter says she wants to start a coffee shop, and my youngest son enjoys attending local trade shows and promoting our farm.”
Just like their mom, Ivania’s children are going to honor the family tradition, making it stronger, in their own time and in their own way. You can bet in whatever capacity they help, there’ll be coffee in the morning (although, maybe not at dawn!).
SIZE: 12 manzanas (approx. 21 acres)
ALTITUDE: 1250 masl
FLAVOR PROFILE: Cherry; Nutty
LOCATION: Wiwili de Jinotega, Nicaragua
+503 8432 3843 / +503 8402 0120
“No hay manana sin cafe….”