Hacienda Don Carlos
San Pedro Yepocapa Guatemala ( please see location on this page )
Dear friends WELCOME TO HACIENDA DON CARLOS,
In San Pedro Yepocapa, you will find one of the finest coffee farms in the area, Hacienda Don Carlos. Hacienda Don Carlos is a small coffee and macadamia farm in Guatemala. It is safe, it is wonderfully designed and landscaped, including a waterfall surrounded with orchids, an abundance of flowers throughout the property, fruit trees and vegetables. In the morning and late afternoons, your sense of smell delights in the aromas from the flowers and fruit trees.
Our coffee is considered a Semi-Duro, which means it is full of natural strong flavors and it is a strong coffee. The Semi-Duro is normally used by the brand Starbucks, to blend with low-quality coffees to balance flavor. We are proud to be Starbucks certified. As reputation precedes them, Starbucks has specific and strict standards for its coffee as well as standards for employee working conditions. We are happy to meet all the standards set in place for the care of our employees as well as conserving the environment by following the most restricted rules that they are famous for imposing on their business associates.
In 2003, I along with a couple of friends had an interest in investing in Guatemala, my home country. We saw the opportunities and the necessity of the country. It was our chance to not only invest but to also provide opportunities to better the lives of the Guatemalan people. We purchased the farm, invested in upgrades and made it the success it is today.
The farm, now known as Hacienda Don Carlos, was originally a neglected farm. As a group of investors, we came to an understanding that the farm had an immense amount of potential. We determined that with proper care, the right equipment and facilities and management, that the farm could be a success.
As a group of investors, we knew it would be a feat to get the farm up and running. It was going to be a challenging journey. We did not have experience running a farm, let alone running a farm in Guatemala. We also did not have the knowledge of growing coffee. However, we were a group of entrepreneurs with business savvy.
Our foundation has been built on trust and patience. We had to practice patience to endure the time it took us to bring the farm back to life. We had to invest, meaning, we had to spend money and put it toward infrastructure as it was non-existent. I, personally. Never had even planted a flower in my life so the trust my friends had in me was a heavy burden on my shoulders.
The first year of ownership was a surprise. The neglected farm managed to produce a harvest. This gave us hope that the farm showed signs of vitality and had the potential to prosper in our care.
They say that farmers need two contracts: One with god and the second with the devil, as farming is by far one of the most risky business ventures. Farmers are at the mercy of mother nature, regulation and the economy.
The success of a coffee farm is dependent on a variety of factors such as rainfall, elevation, and warm, humid weather. We had to equip our farm with labor and quickly become knowledgeable of the labor laws in Guatemala. We had to learn all the steps in the coffee production process: planting, harvesting, processing, milling, roasting and exporting,
We had our share of every one of the factors mentioned above, including experiencing LA ROYA (a most devastating pest that destroys coffee crops.) To this day, La Roya lingers at the farm.
You may ask, why did you choose to invest in this specific farm? or why Guatemala? it was a sublime call my friends. I had an immense desire of helping the Guatemalan community where the farm is located; and I had a wonderful experience with nature in this location.
Jeff Gelderman, one of my two friends, wanted to invest as long as the farm was permitted to build an on-site medical clinic. Together, we purchased medical equipment and built a medical facility. Charles Kelly was infatuated with nature. Since his visit to Alaska, he was moved by the natural beauty. Charles was moved by the location of the farm and felt the desire to be part of this venture. My dream was to create a successful and gorgeous oasis. An oasis which would thrive not only in its fauna and harvest but also allow the people in the area to thrive. We would make a difference in the lives of those whom we would touch with job opportunities. All I wanted was to combine my friends’ wishes and make a difference.
Throughout the years of owning Hacienda Don Carlos, we invested thousands of dollars. In some cases, we will never see a monetary return of investment due to the nature in which we allocated our focus which in retrospect was a humbling and a true learning experience. Although we may not recoup some of the money, we are truly proud to say that we are able to provide hundreds of people with employment opportunities and have made the people of Guatemala incredibly happy.
I invite you to visit the photo gallery and you will see the History of Hacienda Don Carlos in a better way than reading my thoughts and experiences.
Hacienda Don Carlos holds a state-of-the-art laboratory for coffee and macadamia nuts. We are not yet finished with dreaming. Our future projects include an apiary. Considering the lush greenery and abundance of flowers, it is only natural and makes sense to continue conservation of nature and create a habitat for our bee friends who work just as hard.
If you would like more information regarding Hacienda Don Carlos and would like to be part of the journey, simply login to www.haciendadoncarlosgt.com and send us a message.
We are grateful that you are reading the history of Hacienda Don Carlos and hope you have gained a better understanding of our vision.
In the gallery of photos below, you will see the creation of Hacienda Don Carlos in pictures. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words and we want to share moments in time and beauty which cannot be expressed in words.