Nestled between the Guatemalan mountains, La Bolsa coffee plantation is owned by a distinguished medical professional – Jorge Vides – who has been the proud owner and farmer since 1958. A true philanthropist, Vides is a respected & charitable member of his coffee-growing community, so much so that the regional hospital of Huehuetenango is named after him. A real-life superhero, who provided inspiration for our very own ‘Captain Caramel’.
Because of the sheltered mountainous location, the coffee farm has its very own micro-climate, which makes the perfect breeding ground for growing exceptional coffee. A stable, humid micro-climate combined with the limestone-rich soils give the coffee an incredibly unique profile, with a rich syrupy, toffee-like body & a punchy, citrusy hit. The coffee beans then go through a fermentation process for between 18 to 24 hours to deepen the flavours, hence why Captain Caramel is the Chuck Norris of coffee.
Sections of the coffee farm are reserved to promote a wealth of biodiversity, reduce exposure to winds & limit soil erosion. Carefully planted Inga trees are used to create shade & to fix nitrogen levels in the soil, which are essential for plant & cherry growth. Jorge also has an expansive composting operation to make use of waste products, using redworms to help with this composting process. Every single process of the coffee production is done with great care, giving the utmost of respect to people & the environment, gaining Jorge great recognition in the coffee society on an international level.
In 2002, La Bolsa coffee farm competed in the prestigious Cup Of Excellence competition & was placed second, scoring 94.98 out of 100. Jorge has won a number of awards for coffee production, as he not only offers delicious coffee, but his philanthropic attitude is commendable & has a significant impact on his local & global community. La Bolsa is Rainforest Alliance certified & follows C.A.F.E practice guidelines, therefore an eco-friendly & people-friendly business.
With a huge passion for supporting the community, accommodation is provided for the farm’s permanent & temporary workers, with separate facilities for men, women & families, including bathrooms & kitchens. Vides wants his employees to be healthy & safe, so does whatever he can to achieve this.
An educated man himself, he understands the importance of a good education & strives for this in his community. Jorge has received funding to build a school & nursery at the farm, with fully-trained, full-time teachers. All of the temporary & permanent staff have access to schooling for their children, & they are incentivised to leave their children at school or nursery in exchange for food donations. When a child attends school or nursery for 5 consecutive days, they receive a weekly supply of rice, beans & corn, therefore promoting welfare & education. Prior to this food ration scheme, schooling wasn’t necessarily valued as there is great pressure on earning more money to feed the family, so many children were receiving little or no schooling. As a result of the new scheme, there are no children working on the farm, & the school & nursery classes are full.
Jorge’s humanitarian attitude is one of admiration. A coffee industry & cause that we are incredibly honored to support. And something – we think – Chuck Norris would be proud to be named after.