This week we bring you our very own farm:   Finca El Hato / by Nadine Rasch

Finca El Hato has been in our family since 1938, when purchased by Don Enrique Topke. It is now managed my the third and fourth generations (My father and I). El Hato is located in Barberena, in the Fraijanes Coffee Region at 4,800 ft above sea level. This farm has always produced a balanced and  sweet chocolaty cup loved by many. The coffee has been exported for over 50 years to Europe, North America and Japan. 

Back in 2012 El Hato suffered immensely from Roya (Coffee Leaf Rust) - loosing over 60% of its production. It has been very sad for us to see the attack and loss. But as with any difficult situations many new possibilities emerge. We have since planted over 200,000 new trees of different varieties resistant to Roya - on the picture, for example is our Icatu Nursery of 9 month old plants. Along with that we have also adopted many new methods of keeping our plants well fead and healthy - with Lombricompost - Organic food. 

 Another great project we have been working on in El Hato is a new school. For the course of 6 months this school went a massive reconstruction, or better said, a construction itself.This run down building used to be an abandoned public school on a neighboring lot of Finca El Hato, in Barberena. When we took over the lot along with the building, we decided it was best to rebuild the school for the local children. After much effort from local workers we enthusiastically announced the opening of the new School to the public.            

The School has been functioning as a public school for over ten years now and it educates over 400 children from the age of 5 to 18. It offers morning, afternoon and evening classes to maximize the use of the building and accommodate everyone’s schedule. Most of the students are children of coffee workers or pickers at the farm. However the school also welcomes any other children in the area. After such great success - we are onto building two more! Will keep you updated.