STORY OF THE ASSOCIATION
Pico de Águila is located in the Honduras Reserve in the municipality of Morales on the western mountain range 32km east of Popayán. The highest peak in the reserve is called Cerro Pico de Águila. At 2800masl up in the Páramo, it’s a touch to high to grow coffee, but members of the local community manage to cultivate it at 1500-1850masl. Pico de Águila is one of the most sacred sites for the indigenous community within the reserve and is also a key source of water for the surrounding region. Honduras Reserve has a population of around 12,000 people, 20% of which speak Nasa Yuwe, the local language. The rest of the community speak Spanish as their mother tongue but still identify themselves as indigenous and there is currently a drive to recuperate the language. More bilingual schools have been created as a result. The Association (ASOCAFIH) joined Cencoic in 2012 with 174 families and currently there are 316 families in the Association, which is growing from strength to strength.
STORY OF CENCOIC
Cencoic, which stands for Central Cooperativa Indígena del Cauca, is a cooperative comprised of indigenous reserves in the Cauca region and they also export their own coffee.
The Cauca region used to be very different place to what it is now – years of armed conflict have given way thanks to all the hard work of the Colombian people & the Government resulting in an area that is now much more stable and the process towards peace is allowing Cencoic to flourish. Cencoic has seen steady growth over the last 5 years as more and more families from farming communities in their native geographical reserves are producing the right quality for export. Cencoic are also working with new reserves in the region which they previously found were inaccessible due to the geo-political situation and unstable and inherent dangers associated with said areas. The typical farmer in the cooperative has around 1 hectare of coffee growing land at an average altitude of around 1800 masl. Common varieties include: Caturra, Colombia, Tabi and to a lesser degree, Castillo.
Cencoic export high quality coffee with boundless character and each reserve has its own unique terroir that makes itself present in the cup. In the Valle del Cauca region and Cauca region they grow a lot of sugar and it’s safe to say the coffees exhibit a similar sort of sweetness! In Colombia they make a particular type of sugar called ‘panela’ which is similar to treacle and the flavours of which are commonly found in these coffees. Plantain, pineapple, yuca, lemon and orange are all commonly grown throughout the region in amongst the coffee.
Coffees across all the reserves are de-pulped, fermented & dried at the farm. The farmers deliver their parchment to the local collection warehouse where it is weighed and recorded before being received in to the warehouse in Popayan to be cupped and then dry milled (the process of removing husks and grading coffee) for export at a mill in Popayan before being trucked to the port of Buenaventura.