San Patricio Palencia, Guatemala
Guadalupe Alberto (Beto) Reyes Aguilar and his family have a clear love and understanding for coffee, and a strong respect for the natural environment at the estate that they own and operate. Located around an hours’ drive to the east of Guatemala City in the small town of Palencia, their estate sits at an altitude of between 1600 and 1800 metres above sea level. At 60 hectares, El Limon is the largest plot of the San Patricio farm which also comprises El Morito (9.5 hectares) and Bella Vista (24 hectares).
The family endeavor to manage San Patricio’s farms as ‘organically’ as they can, and although they are not certified organic - they follow organic principles. The farm mostly produces Bourbon and Caturra, with the Pacamara being the result of experimental crop cultivation. Overall, the family are motivated by and focused on ensuring that their farms take extraordinary care at every step – from picking and processing to shipping and agronomy, and they are always experimenting with new varietals.
San Patricio is very much a family affair. Beto’s wife, his sons and his brother work on the farm, and everyone plays a part in the running of the farms on a daily basis. The more established Finca El Limon is definitely the ‘jewel in the crown’. Purchased by the family 22 years ago, the family terraced and planted new coffee nine years ago and have successfully renovated the older areas of the farm. El Limon has established shade cover trees, sits at a high altitude and has an excellent aspect to the sun - resulting in the long maturation of coffee, high levels of sugar and consistent levels of coffee production.
Social sustainability is very important to the Reyes family. At the heart, they want to create a family and community environment in all areas of the farm, and work hard to build loyalty and a ‘team spirit’. Staff retention is strongwith numerous pickers having worked with the family for the full nine years that their farms have been producing coffee. Their people are treated as equals, collaborators, and with a great deal of respect. The Reyes family are progressively investing in San Patricio. A new wet mill enabling lot separation has recently been built, and an irrigation system was under construction during our last visit in March 2019, aimed to help ensure the cleanliness and proper maturation of their specialty coffees.
We like to consider the San Patricio team as Ozone Fam and we have been to vist every year since 2013 and last year Beto and Betio visited Ozone for our 20th birthday party in London.