Honduras Coffee History
As of 2011, Honduras was named the highest producer of coffee in all of Central America and is the world’s second highest producer of washed Arabica coffee. But how did they get to this point? As a country that originally was a high producer in bananas, Honduras eventually decided to utilize their coffee beans to create a very high quality type of coffee. Coffee beans began to be bought and sold in the early 18th century. Honduras was just beginning to gain its independence from Spain and many of the presidents at the time tried to promote the fact that they produced coffee beans. But because of the various wars that went on, they had trouble expanding the coffee crop as the land was compromised. As a result, bananas became the cash crop of Honduras. For the next half a century, bananas were the main crop produced until coffee increased its share as a cash crop. By the end of the 20th century, coffee production in Honduras increased and coffee became the main cash crop instead.
The reason that Honduras is such a large producer of coffee, is because of the amount of people that farm this crop. There are about 110,000 thousand coffee producer in Honduras and 92% of them are small producers. The amount of jobs created by coffee production helps this country thrive significantly. About 12.5% of the entire population are given jobs as a result of the coffee production. Families choose to produce coffee as their source of the livelihood. Children in Honduras are able to work on their school breaks during the main coffee producing season, which helps these families bring in more income. Today, Honduras is the seventh largest producer of coffee in the world and in 2012 they were invited to the Special Coffees Association of America where it was on display as producer of the year. Honduras prides itself on coffee production and is known for their quality coffee beans.
San Vicente, who began exporting coffee in 2001, was started by Fidel Paz and is the culmination of the life long dream of his father, Cantalicio Paz. Since then the coffees grown in the area of Santa Barbara have become world famous for their quality. The exceptional nature of these coffees can be attributed to fertile volcanic soil, the microclimate caused by Lake Yojoa at the base of the mountain, and the meticulous nature of the people in charge of quality control at San Vicente. Not only just an exporter, they also assist over 1,500 producers with planting, processing, and curating specialty lots, and this strong relationship based on trust, hard work, and passion for coffee shows in the cup.