Honduras Micro-Lot Offering
From San Sebastián, Lempira, Martha is the eldest of 14 siblings, her father was Pastor Vásquez, and her mother is Amelia Melgar, whom were farmers of basic grains (maíz and beans). Her parents sent her several times to school, but she always ended up dropping out and never completed the first grade, so they decided she would stay at home to help them with the farm and house duties.
Since very young Martha always had an interest in commerce so she learned to prepare candies, lollipops, other traditional sweets and picked up sewing and baking. Once ready, she put all the sweets and bread in a basket which she placed on top of her head. Martha walked all around the village to sell them, until everything was gone.
Martha got married at 22 with Ángel Benitez and had 6 children. Right after she got married, her brother-in-law told her to go to Guatemala with him to buy merchandise to sell at their town, but at that time, she only had 50.00 lempiras as capital, so she decided to borrow money from one of her brothers. She gathered up a total 700.00 lempiras and left. Once in Guatemala, she bought clothes, blankets, plastic utensils for domestic use and many other things.
Upon her return, she sold all the merchandise quickly, being able to pay her brother back and make another trip to Guatemala. She kept doing this until her first daughter Jazmin was born, when she stopped going on these trips. She partnered up with her brother, José, and together established a merchandise business in her house.
In 1987 she bought her first plot of land in San Sebastián, encouraged by a producer friend and since then, Martha has acquired more land and has been committed to coffee production. She has improved each coffee process and the quality she delivers every year stands out from others’ coffee from the same region.
Honduras Jorge Serrano
Jorge is a third-generation farmer and grew up visiting his grandpa’s and parent’s coffee farms. He studied to be a veterinarian in Guatemala and still works part-time as a vet in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.
Jorge is a strong Christian and is very involved in the Great Commission church in Tegucigalpa and the Great Commission foundation (https://grancomision.org/). He is currently on the leadership team for the church and oversees 8 discipleship groups. He has also partnered with a roaster to raise funds for the foundation.
He loves growing coffee because it provides so much employment. He started with 5 full-time employees and now has 30 full-time employees and 120 pickers during the harvest. He is proud to pay better than most in the area and see how the lives of his employees has improved. He told me ‘I know the homes of my employees and I have seen how they have improved over the years’. That is what makes it all worth it for him.
He hopes to continue to grow his farm and improve the quality of his coffee. He is also working towards one day becoming an exporter so he can manage the entire process himself. One other goal of his is to compete and win the Cup of Excellence in the next 5 years.