Valle Occidental

Costa Rica

In the enchanting land of Costa Rica, coffee growing is a source of national pride for the “Ticos”. The industry is concentrated in the Meseta Central, a vast stretch of highlands with fertile volcanic soil, home to more than half of the population. The Valle Occidental is in the westernmost part of this region. It seems to have been created especially for coffee growing: the attitudes of 800-1400 m, humidity at 81% almost all the time, and an average temperature of 21°, all factors that promote a plentiful, healthy crop.

 In the Valle Occidental it rains for about 160 days each year. The start of the dry season in November coincides with the coffee harvest, which continues until February, often in a festive Christmassy atmosphere. The local growers mostly have small plantations, and use sustainable agriculture and processing methods. This also helps to give their Arabica beans the aromas and perfectly balanced acidity and body for which the local coffee is world famous.

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Lydia Matamoros

Costa Rica

monoarabica Lydia Matamoros
Name:
Lydia Matamoros
Territory:
Valle Occidental
illy since:
2005

It’s a sunny morning like many others at Monte Rosa. From her window, Doña Lydia Matamoros surveys the whole plantation, a wide expanse of luxuriant coffee plants and shady wild citrus trees that fill her eyes with light.
Lydia speaks of her native land with a clear voice and a deep, warm laugh. Her story starts in the territory of Naranjo in the Valle Occidental. It was here in 1932 that her grandfather Juan Manuel realised his dream of buying a finca. With the hydroelectric plant built for his fields, he was also the first to provide lighting for the whole of San Carlos county, which until then had been partly in the dark.

Since then many seasons have passed. Some of them have hit the family business hard. In 2000, an industry-wide crisis threatened the plantation’s very survival. Lydia and her husband decided to take over the whole of the family estate and dedicated their lives to coffee. They left everything behind and moved here with their children.
Every day, Doña Lydia blesses that decision. Nothing makes her happier than watching her family grow up on the plantation.
This morning, as she sips her coffee, she looks down on the workers at Monte Rosa. Together, they have made a pact of loyalty with the land, to guarantee stability for themselves and a stable future for the place they live in.
Like the electric light that Juan Manuel introduced to these fields, for all of them coffee will always represent life.