Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 96 of 103

Barista Magazine: Can you tell us a little about your histories in coffee? Did you both grow up in coffee? Marysabel: Yes, I grew up in coffee. I am fourth-generation in coffee. My great-grandfather, he started in that area in the 1900s. He was from El Salvador, but he came to Honduras for his cattle. He came for the grass, because in El Salvador it was too dry. He arrived in Marcala and he started to see coffee, and he started to learn about coffee. He decided with his family to stay in Marcala, and he left the cattle to work in coffee. He was a very visionary man, he started to export to Germany. He would carry the coffee by mules through Marcala to go to the port in El Salvador. He exported coffee and he exported leather bags. He made the bags, he put the coffee in the bags, and he exported both coffee and the leather bags. Sadly he died in his 40s, and his kids were small. His son, my grandfather, was 9 years old when his father died. He got married when he was 14 years old, and he didn't have anything. He started to recuperate his father's farms that were aban- doned, and then he started to grow, grow, grow in coffee. He raised all his family, nine kids, with the farms. My mother was the eighth of nine, and my mother, she loves the coffee. She con- tinued to work with the coffee. She got married with my father, and my father was a banker. He wasn't from Marca- la, he arrived to Marcala to work in a bank. He met my mom, and my father continued to work in a bank, but my mother pushed him to invest in farms. So they bought one that was owned by my grandfather. So I was born in coffee, all my life I was in coffee. BMag: Did you enjoy growing up in coffee with your family? Marysabel: I can tell you my best time in my childhood was the weekends that we went to the farm, when we went to plant coffee and to see the farms. We had a house in the farms where we spend the holy weeks and vacation. The house didn't have nice things, didn't have even electricity, didn't have water. We had to carry the water to wash everything in the kitchen, to take a shower, but was amazing years of my life. I always told to my parents, "I want to come back and to live in Marcala." I always had that feeling in my life. I had to leave Marcala when I was 15 just to study. When I graduated from high school I won a scholarship from agricultural school. My father told me, "No, agriculture is not for a woman. It's too tough. You have to study fi nancial or administration." Then I told him, "OK, you win. I will study what you want, but only if you promise me that when I fi nish I can come back to the farm to work." He said, "OK, a deal. I know that when you know that work, you are never going to come back." So I studied in marketing. But you know? The day I fi nished, I came back to Marcala to work and to live. I started to work with my father. And, happily, I met Moises after I graduated! That's why I knew I had to come back to Marcala. I was working for two years with my father, and then I started to work together with Moises in the farm. To grow as a family. BMag: How about you, Moises? Did you grow up in coffee? Moises: No. I'm originally from Guatemala, but I studied accounting. My major was accounting, and I started to work in coffee exporting company in Guatemala, in the accounting department. I started moving into the coffee, and this is the way: Every time I started moving more in coffee, I started to manage the wet mill, the dry mill, exportation—everything about the coffee. In the '90s, the person who managed the company in Guatemala told me they needed to open a new operation in Honduras, and they sent me. That is the reason that I arrived in Honduras, to manage an exporting company. I moved to Marcala, and I started to buy some land. The fi rst time it was only 97

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