Finca Argentina is a beautiful farm surrounded by natural hot springs in the Apaneca-Ilamtepec mountain range. Our friend Alejandro “Ale” Martinez owns the farm with his father Mauricio, who inherited the land and several coffee farms from his own father in 2008.
Ale joined his father’s business after relocating to El Salvador from New York. With his son on the way, he wanted a different life closer to family and began helping his father’s business. Ale noticed Finca Argentina once produced lots of coffee, but production had fallen drastically. He started paying closer attention to the farm to improve its productivity, and after some tough harvest seasons (including the worst on record), they were able to turn things around.
The Martinez family employ 50 people during the harvest and 30 the rest of the year. They contribute labour and materials to improve infrastructure in their community’s towns, and grow 25 kg of corn annually for each person. They’re also implementing more ecological management: using compost and other organic products to minimise environmental impact, and intercropping beans to enrich soil. Their work has improved the land’s biodiversity and cup quality, and the future for Finca Argentina is looking very bright!
Finca Argentina is separated into 7 areas or 'tablons', these are approximately 6 hectares in size each, but some are smaller due to their location and other landscape characteristics:
- The highest tablon is San Jorge at 1,300-1,360 masl. This is 2 hectares in size and was replanted with Yellow Pacamara 4 years ago.
- Fincona 2 is the most productive tablon at a size of 8 hectares, sitting at between 1,250-1,300 masl.
- Fincona 1 is 4 hectares, sat at 1,200-1,250masl. The coffee plants here are intercropped with macadamia nut trees which were planted in 2020.
- Guachipelin is 6 hectares in size, and in 2016 was replanted with H1, Yellow Bourbon, Icatu and a small amount of Kenya/SL-28.
- Los Mangos (where this coffee is from), also 6 hectares, is the location of a volcanic vent with boiling mud areas!
- Piletas is 6 hectares large and is also being replanted in 2020. This is the lowest area of the farm at about 1,150 to 1,200 masl.
- 4 Manzanas (3 hectares in size) were replanted in 2018 with Portillo (a Bourbon hybrid).