The following day we embarked on the long journey to Santa Rosa de Copan. The almost 6-hour drive through wonderful mountainous countryside took us to the dry mill of Inaginsa. Here we learned from Walter Dunaway about moisture controls, bean quality and how a large mill operates. They export 400 containers (average 275 bags) per year.
Meeting Peter Rodriguez the President of The Speciality Coffee Association of Honduras, at the Santa Rosa dry mills, reinforces the focus on education to raising the standards for Honduran coffee. Their policies insist on providing a healthy, sustainable way of life for the coffee community, education being a key factor. Their logo is used on all their products to identify them with the philosophy.
Café Capucas (Cocafcal) is an institution in the Copan region, for research and development in the coffee industry. Here they were looking into all aspects of farming to help and expand the economy for the farmers. For example, growing Lemongrass will stop erosion and makes a good fertilizer, encourage your own bee hives with a non-stinging variety (meliponas) to aid fertilization, sell dried fruits, tomato, banana and many others that grow well here. Omar Rodriguez was our guide, and over the two days here we were enlightened to many schemes, picked coffee, pulping on a small machine, saw the development of fertilizers and pest controls at Cocafcal and visited a clinic provided by Fairtrade subsidy. For all of us this was a big two-day learning curve.
A popular way of enhancing the economy of a coffee farm is to attract tourists, educating the public in the growing and processing of the coffee. Raul Welchez at Finca Santa Isabel has done just this. Taken to the top of the mountain we walked down the forest trail seeing coffee growing and a great variety of natural flora and fauna.