Fraijanes

Guatemala

The real star of the Fraijanes region is called Pacaya, one of the three volcanoes that dominate this mountainous part of northern Guatemala. Its constant eruptions have deposited a fine film of ash on the soil, enriching it with precious minerals and making it extremely fertile. Fraijanes is not far from Lake Atitlan, just a short distance from the capital city.
Much of this zone, inhabited by friendly, welcoming people,

is occupied by a vast plain covered by ancient forests, beaten by persistent winds and lashed by heavy rain. Here, altitudes are high, humidity ever-present and the dry season is very sunny. These characteristics, along with the high concentration of potassium in the volcanic soil, have made Fraijanes a natural coffee-growing country. The local Arabica is known for its excellent quality and characteristic acidity.

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Rafael Ventura

Guatemala

monoarabica Don Rafael Ventura
Name:
Rafael Ventura
Territory:
Fraijanes
illy since:
1995

It’s a cold day at Finca Rabanales and the weak afternoon sun lights up the many shades of green in the garden. Amongst the foliage you can glimpse the coffee plants, trembling gently under the drops of soft rain. For Rafael Ventura, indulging in this view is like taking a trip back in time, to when he and his brothers would ride across the plantation on horseback. Everything at Rabanales, each tree, stone and even the chair Rafael is sitting on, tell the story of the people who have lived in this house and worked in these fields.
The estate passed to his family in the late 19th century, when his great-grandfather Don Gregorio Samora began working the soil. Since then many people’s lives have been tied up with the plantation, but over the decades the method of growing coffee has not changed. The workers still have the same excitement and anticipation as they wait for the beans to turn red, before harvesting them and leaving them to dry in the sun.

Coffee has had a profound influence on the life of Rafael Ventura. As a young man he lived abroad for a few years before knowing that he had to return to his plantation in Guatemala. This is where he married and put down roots. Before long, almost before he knew it, his children were growing up surrounded by coffee plants.
Rafael is certain that he has conveyed to his children a passion for this work, and a sense of gratitude towards this fertile, generous land which for many people in this part of the world has meant everything.