We were introduced to Finca El Valle in 2011, a farm in Guatemala. Finca El Valle is a family farm Cristina Gonzalez inherited from her grandmother in 1978. She is continuing the tradition handed down by past generations. One thing that was apparent when we first visited the farm, was their initiatives involving social and environmental responsibility.
Cristina Gonzales with her husband and 3 sons manage the day-to-day operations at Finca El Valle. Organization is at a premium at El Valle and everyone is treated as family. From the pickers to the full-time employees, it’s a family run business with a tremendous amount of pride and love poured into their efforts.
Walking around the farm, they have signs showing the diverse species living in the forests surrounding the area. It seems as if they have an intimate relationship with the environment. They reuse the pulped cherries, and make compost to fertilize and replant. The water from the wet mill is also reused, and functions as an organic fertilizer. In 2008, Finca El Valle became Rainforest Alliance Certified.
In addition to their initiatives and the environmental responsibility of her family, they have a philosophy that places a high value on relationships.
“I feel that it could be very simple for us: I send you coffee, you send me money, and the story ends. But the fact that I know your family is very beautiful, because that is more than business, it is affection. And that is more important. The money is indispensable, but the relationship is priceless.”
~ Cristina Gonzalez