Before you meet Martir Pineda, there’s a good chance you’ll meet his children and neighbors (who may be family -- Martir has twelve siblings, many of whom still live nearby.) On a visit to his house in the village of Malcincal, his children and their young neighbors smile shyly and run up to the porch. Martir, his wife, two daughters, and son welcome the visitors into their home, which Martir has been able to build onto with the help of his coffee sales.
Martir Pineda has been selling coffee to Aldea Development since the organization began buying coffee from La Unión and the surrounding aldeas (villages). On Finca El Higon, the name of Martir's farm, he's been cultivating coffee for more than 10 years. The farm of about 2.6 acres (1.5 manzanas), a 15-minute motorcycle ride away from his house, grows the Catimor coffee varietal. This type is increasingly common in Honduras because it is resistant to coffee leaf rust and produces a high quantity yield.
This year, Martir will be experimenting with nitrogen fertilizer to help him determine which fertilizing methods work best for his coffee crop. Without fertilizing the fields, he can not produce enough coffee to make the enterprise financially viable.
Planting new, young coffee plants is Martir's favorite part of the coffee producing business, because in each small plant he sees so much potential, both for the plant and for his family's life. Thanks to Aldea's higher purchase price, compared to local alternatives, Martir has been able to continually expand his coffee production and increase his profit. He hopes to produce more than 2,000 lbs of coffee next year, a roughly 25% increase from this year's harvest. One of the improvements Martir has made to reduce expenses and increase quality of his coffee is drying it in his own facility in his backyard, instead of outsourcing that part of the process.