The Mendez Family – Gabino, his younger brother Giblerto, and their cousin Francisco – grow coffee on plots of land next to their homes in San Pedro Necta, Huehuetenango. The coffee grows on the slopes of the mountains within a wet, green valley providing cool temperatures. The area of San Pedro Nectar is a special one in Huehuetenango, offering a micro-terroir unique to the rest of the region. This area produces some of the deepest and sweetest coffees in Central America. The family works collectively to cultivate, harvest, process and dry their coffees. During harvest season, it’s a family effort where 20 plus members of extended family will come together to pick coffee.
Gabino Mendez is a 3rd generation farmer. The family, like most families in the area, always sold their coffee at or below market price, which made it a perpetual stretch to make ends meet. When we first bought their coffee in 2010-2011 it was the first time they had sold their coffee directly to a roaster, and the first time they realized the value of their product. They were paid nearly three times what their family had been receiving for the three generations prior. Aside from Madcap, the Mendez family now has a line-up of specialty coffee buyers with security of a premium for their product.