About Finca El Oasis
Ramona Diaz’ story is your typical love story: girl meets boy, girl and boy slowly and steadily build coffee farming business together, boy encourages girl to take a more active role in their industry, and girl becomes a leader. Only Ramona is from a small, colorful village in Northern Nicaragua called San Jean del Rio Coco, where the culture and coffee industry is male-dominated. So, really, there’s nothing typical about her story at all.
Located 1280 meters above sea level, in a mountain full of lush green trees with amazing views of the Nicaraguan countryside, Ramona’s farm, Finca El Oasis, sprawls behind the small home that she shares with her husband and four children. The 2.5 manzana (4.3 acre) farm produces 4,000 pounds of exportable green coffee every year, but it all started with a simple bodega.
“I said, when I get married, I’m going to find someone who has nothing, so that when we have something, it’ll be something for the both of us,” Ramona recalls. And that’s exactly what she and her husband did. They started by selling produce at a bodega until they had enough money to buy a small plot of land. The duo farmed coffee on the land until they could buy another plot, and another. They were true partners, a rarity in their community, and they were unstoppable. But in 2004, Ramona’s husband became very ill and he wondered what would happen to her (and all their hard work), if she were left alone.
Ramona’s husband made an impassioned plea: Take some of the land into your own name, and incorporate into a co-op (virtually unheard for a woman at that time). He never wanted Ramona to have to rely on someone else. “In a culture where most men say, ‘Stay!’ my husband said, ‘Go, it’s important!’” And she did. And it was.
Today, Ramona’s husband is strong, as is her position as a leader in the association of smallholder coffee producers. Acting as “Cooperative Gender Representative,” Ramona advocates to promote women in her industry. While cooperatives of coffee farmers and the larger coﬀee-growing industry remain mostly male-dominated, Ramona’s cooperative consists of 30% women, which is far more than the country’s average. Aside from her efforts as a coﬀee grower and advocate, Ramona prides herself on being environmentally conscious. She not only uses sustainable practices at her farm, but is also a part of the reforestation movement in her community and uses no harmful chemicals on her coﬀee farm.
“If my husband had never encouraged me to take that opportunity, I would have never seen it,” Ramona reflects of joining the cooperative. So, in preparing for the worst possible outcome, the couple inadvertently shaped the best possible life.
SIZE: 2.5 manzanas (approx. 4.3acres)
ALTITUDE: 1280 masl
FLAVOR PROFILE: Cacao; Nutty
LOCATION: San Juan del Rio Coco, Nicaragua
+505 7855 9150
“Cada mañana, me despierto a mi pedazo de cielo, un verdadero oasis…”