Pedro Mejia is the proud father of five children. And, the proud owner of a dog, chickens, and lots of bugs, he says, laughing. Pedro, his wife, daughter, and three of their four sons live in a small village called Gualciras. Pedro jokes that he’s related to half of the 850 people in the village (it’s probably good he has such a sense of humor.)
Pedro’s house, a labor of love, has been built over time to accommodate his growing family. Electricity came to the town only within the past few years, so a television and computer set now allow his family to cheer on televised Real Madrid and Olympia soccer matches, or keep in contact with their oldest son in Mexico.
Pedro’s family has a long tradition of coffee production in Gualciras. His father was the first to harvest coffee in the area, and Pedro grew up farming coffee alongside his dad and extended family for more than 30 years. Upon reaching adulthood, Pedro was given a field by his Dad and named it “Matazano.” But since then, much has changed about coffee production. Pedro says it used to be easier to care for the field: they did not have to worry about bugs or disease or weather-related problems. Now. it has become a much more difficult business. Pedro has to invest more time and money into the care of his coffee farm to ensure a full harvest. A constant struggle for coffee producers is getting good prices for their coffee harvest, which is why Pedro was pleased to sell 1,000 lbs of his coffee to Aldea Development this year. Aldea offered him much better prices for his harvest than the local intermediaries, to whom he always had to sell in the past.
Pedro has been able to expand his farm to nearly 10 acres. On it, he grows coffee, beans, and corn. The beans and corn are then used to feed the family, while the coffee provides income. On the 5 productive coffee acres, Pedro grows Lempira and Catimor coffee varietals, harvesting nearly 5,000 lbs of coffee annually. With the profit he receives from selling his coffee to Aldea, Pedro hopes to expand cultivation to the other 5 acres of his farm.