Enrique Mena Gutiérrez, Bachelor of Science in Education, 1st generation in coffee cultivation, has programs to help maintain the access road to the community of Las Duanas with a group of coffee growers in the area.
"When there is a need to repair the access road to the farms, the coffee growers of the area agree and we contribute a fund to cover the maintenance of the road, since the projection of the road is in the subgrade phase, needing constant maintenance to keep it in good condition.
Enrique Mena, son of Ignacio Mena and Amalia Gutiérrez, who were farmers and cattle ranchers all their lives, the family economy was sustained by this business. Enrique Mena was the first of 10 siblings to be able to study at the university. In his heart always remained the sunrises in the mountains, the family time and how happy they were. That is why he challenged himself to look for new agricultural practices that would allow the community to develop, trying to be ecological. Enrique Mena has inspired 3 of his brothers to bet on coffee farming. Now, years later, coffee growing has given them back the hope of being able to continue the family legacy.
As a process of innovation, Kriscia Mena was part of the Grounds for empowerment project, where she learned new techniques to process our coffee.
History of the Farm:
Finca Las Duanas is located in the Alotepec-Metapan mountain range in El Salvador, a mountain range close to the sky where clouds skim and birds celebrate the virtues of the land that feeds them. Located at an elevation of 1910 meters above sea level, the farm is surrounded by picturesque landscapes, such as the Miramundo hill, full of flowers and pine trees; and with the beautiful view of the towns of San Ignacio and La Palma in Chalatenango. Getting to Finca Las Duanas is a memorable adventure, crossing trails, springs and beautiful waterfalls.
The property where the farm is located belonged to Ignacio Mena, who was a farmer and cattle rancher. At first, the land was used for other crops. However, the family decided to commit exclusively to coffee cultivation as a way to care for the coffee forest of the region, protect biodiversity, and maintain the ecosystem. This passion for caring for the environment has been transmitted to all members of the Finca Las Duanas team, and now the farm and its surroundings are home to many animals such as endangered deer, snakes, squirrels and cusucos. For the Mena Posada family it is very important to adopt eco-friendly practices so as not to pollute the air and keep the water clean.
For the Mena Posada family, their path as coffee producers has not been easy. In spite of the fact that their father, Enrique Mena Gutiérrez, became a leader and motivator for the family to work in coffee, at the beginning they were not completely convinced. They felt that the farm was very far from their home, the access was not easy - there was no road and it was necessary to arrive on horseback to access the farm, and no one in the family had much experience in coffee cultivation. In addition, investments had to be made to ensure that their coffee harvests were of high quality.
The Las Duanas farm participated in the Cup of Excellence 2021 contest, obtaining a diploma of participation awarded by CSC.
Now, the work at Finca Las Duanas is divided between the family and its collaborators. The father, Enrique, is the owner and boss; his son coordinates the work of the workers and is in charge of the logistics and management of the equipment, and Kriscia and her mother work in the administration, and are in charge of quality control and the processing of the coffee at home. They carry out this work with great enthusiasm and are constantly learning, as they recognize that there are still things to learn about the industry.
Finca Las Duanas has had the assistance of experts from its planning, selection of coffee varieties, planting, cutting, washing, drying and packing processes, since it maintains a great responsibility towards the quality of its coffees. and packaging, as they maintain a great responsibility towards the quality of their coffees. In this way, making their way in the industry, they have broken schemes that inspire other coffee growers to make responsible practices with the environment and to bet on quality.
National Winner 2021, 86.40 points.
Coffee has also been presented at the National Barista and Methods Championship in El Salvador (2020). This and more commits and motivates them to continue innovating and improving.
Since its first production, Finca Las Duanas has won awards for the quality of its coffee in the Trifinio Coffee Table competition held in Copan Ruinas, Honduras (2018, first place), and in El Salvador (2019, first place).
Finca Las Duanas, despite being a small farm, is a place with big dreams. The family's long term plans are to open a coffee restaurant to sell their own coffees and educate consumers to appreciate the high quality of Salvadoran coffee; to train themselves to be able to export their product, and to support coffee growers in the area with their coffee production in order to obtain better profitability.