This is a short introduction to explain my love for coffee and why I started Biarte. It is not a long or complicated story, though I would say it is quite unique. Coffee has been part of my family and my life for a long time. My family has been cultivating coffee for generations, but it is fair to say that farming had been slowly losing its popularity amongst my generation. As a teen, I never would have thought that coffee and agriculture would become my calling. But life works in mysterious ways, and circumstances slowly started lining up so that this project would become my passion.
It all started with my parents. They are the ones that planted the seeds for this passion, and they are one of the greatest inspirations behind Biarte. My father and mother are both agronomists from different countries (father from Guatemala and mother from Ecuador). They met at an agricultural university in Honduras called Zamorano, they fell in love and got married. Eventually, they moved to Guatemala and started a life there.
My father immersed himself in the coffee world immediately after his graduation, working with coffee farmers for a trading company. His job required him to travel to coffee farms in different parts of the country and in a routine visit in 1996, he came upon Santo Tomas Perdido, a place that would change his, my, and the rest of our family’s lives forever.
My father was star struck as soon as he set foot on it. With the towering Atitlan volcano rising on one side, lush mountains surrounding all others, and with an abundant presence of plant and animal life, it was impossible not to fall in love. As soon as he returned to Guatemala City, where we were living, my dad met with his parents and siblings to make a life-changing decision. My father described them this majestic place and with his passion convinced them to make this coffee farm the central investment for the family’s future. Since that moment, my father and my family have dedicated themselves so that this endeavor prospers.
Although nothing beats being surrounded by the areas’ nature, one disadvantage of the farm’s location at that time was that there were not many schools and healthcare close by. In fact, even communication was extremely limited, with no cellphones, internet, and barely any TV. For five years, my mom, my two younger brothers, and I lived in Guatemala City while my father took care of the farm three hours away by car. In 2001, my mom made the courageous decision to leave the life that she had in the city in order to move to the farm so that we could all be together as a family. She became a pillar of support at the farm, working alongside my dad to introduce new concepts and ideas that are now central to its operation. Even more importantly for me, this decision by my mother was what started me down the path in life that would take me to where I am today.