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New Oriente is a newer, eastern coffee-producing region of Guatemala that had only started cultivating coffee since the 1950s. Positioned in the heart of the Chiquimula department, near the borders of El Salvador and Honduras. Prior New Oriente's advance into focused coffee production, small producers only grew coffee as supplementary income to their other crops. Now, farms, both large and small scattered across the mountain, grow coffee as their primary crop.
New Oriente was once considered an impoverished and isolated area in Guatemala but is now thriving and teeming potential due to its coffee economy. The micro-climate combining plenty of rain and clouds with volcanic soil rich in minerals and metamorphic rock allows for coffee trees to flourish. In this region, Lomas Altas is at the front of specialty coffee as a leader of the Jalapa coffee community.
Raul Sanchez of Finca Loma Alta and his outstanding farm produce some of the region's finest coffees. Because water can be scarce in Jalapa, Raul's coffee is delivered to the processing station as cherry the same day that it is picked. As a result, these harvest lots are exceptionally uniform in ripeness and quality. The coffee is processed in the neighbouring Fraijanes region and prepared for export by our partners at Primavera Coffee.
Raul also works closely with the Del Paraiso producer organisation in Jalapa, strengthening the local community by finding specialty partners such as Primavera and helping producers access international buyers. In addition, he's committed to raising the recognition of Jalapa's specialty coffee producers to benefit the entire community. Finally, Raul has set a goal for himself to continue to improve the quality of his coffee year after year, and we're excited to support his journey.