The Cooperativa del Caficultores de Norte de Caldas was created on June 2, 1963 in order to solve the problem of coffee commercialization in Northern Caldas. In the municipality of Salamina, farmers banded together to process, organize and market their coffee. After Salamina was founded, other branches were opened, Pacora , Castilla and San Bartolome ( 1966 ), Filadelfia and Aranzazu (1967), La Merced (1968) ans Samaria (1979). At this time, there are 2297 associates; It is recognized in the north of Caldas as one of the best co-ops and is lauded for the level of democratic co-operation between its members.
The farm is located in San Marcos region of Guatemala. At 5200 feet elevation, this is San Marcos highest farm. From the top of this farm you can see two volcano's and Mexico's boarder.
The farm has their own schools for grades 1-8. They currently have 45 students, although this number can grow during the harvest season. 19 families live full time on the farm for a total of 240 people the standard of living is comfortable with doctors being brought to the farm regularly, they have 3 teachers ( 1 computer teacher ) , a church and a small market to shop AT. Health care, food and transportation is all taken care of by the Farm owner.
Being Rainforest Alliance ensures that this farm is practicing good environmental techniques. Some of this involves:
- Reusing 100% of the coffee cherries as organic fertilizer.
- Collecting " Honey Water" from the Fermentation tanks in a storage area to evaporate the water. The left over residue is then used as fertilizer.
-Utilize worm farms in order to process organic mulch and use the by- product as fertilizer.
-Uses the hulls from the shading Macadamia nuts as fertilizer.
- Protect wildlife by not clear cutting and deforestation products and protecting the surrounding environment.
-Protect the river systems by properly handling by products of the wet mill.