Jose Arnulfo “Fito” Montiel Recinos was born on this remote patch of land, a thirty-minute drive off the main road. Of course, that only became a half-hour drive recently; for most of Fito’s life, he and his family hauled their coffee down to the road on mules and wagons.
The dirt road isn’t the only sign of progress since Fito took over from his parents. He planted the farm’s first patch of Pacamara almost two decades ago. Back then, he was just curious about the odd-looking big bean; however, he soon learned that specialty varieties could help attract specialty buyers, and bring specialty bonuses.
The Pacamara plant alone doesn’t guarantee success. It takes a special producer like Fito. Fito decided early on to invest his profits right back into Finca la Hondurita--hence the new road, the expensive fertilizer, and the quality-based wages for his pickers.
When we visited this winter, Fito told us that he’s now earning 60% more per pound than he did in 2002. That hardly makes him wealthy, but it does mean that he actually breaks even on his harvests. Considering the care Fito puts into his Pacamara, and the joy his coffees bring us, we’re glad to be a part of this.