San Joaquin: The Farm of the Morning Sun
Finca San Joaquin – named after the husband of Saint Anne and the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus – has belonged to the Pacas family since 1905. We have enjoyed a long and sustaining relationship with Maria Pacas and her family, and we are able to visit Finca San Joaquin yearly to see progress, taste new coffees, and spend time with the family and workers.
“San Joaquin rises to 1,700 meters above sea level, at the Ayeco Mount on the northeastern part of the Lamatepec Volcano,” Maria tells us. “This volcano belongs to the Apaneca-Lamatepec Mountain Range, considered one of the most important coffee regions in El Salvador. We call it ‘The Farm of the Morning Sun,’ because due to its location, the trees only receive natural light before noon, which makes an exceptional and natural way to slowly ripen the coffee cherries.”
San Joaquin: Environmental Projects
The farm is involved in many exceptional environmental projects. One of our favorites is the natural cypress forest at the top of the farm. It is intentionally kept wild, to provide a habitat for endangered mammals, birds, and reptiles, and to contribute to the ideal microclimate for growing coffee in San Joaquin.
Finca San Joaquin also uses diversified shade trees and green-approved fertilizers on the farm. “Fosas” are also implemented, which are holes dug to capture water and organic matter into aquifers.
San Joaquin: “Agents of Change”
Cafe Pacas has developed a number of social and economic programs over the years in their community. The programs mostly focus on education, and have opened up to other avenues such as violence prevention, emotional support, and social skills. Future workshops include “Preventing Addictions (Self-Care)”, “Resilience,” and “Peaceful Coexistence.”
As Maria says, “When we help each other, work as a team and create a safe and respectful environment, we feel better and the results are positive,” and those who work toward these goals can be “agents of change” in the community.