Guatemala Finca Santa Margarita
Finca Santa Margarita was founded in 1838 approximately 50 miles outside of Guatamela City, Guatemala. The farm has remained in the same family for four generations and is currently half-owned by Camila Topke.
Finca Santa Margarita maintains two core missions behind it’s operation of producing high quality coffee:
1) to promote employment for women
2) to protect the surrounding environment of the farm and promote sustainability through the farming practices.
In a country where gender equality has historically been a challenge and formal work opportunities for women have been limited, Finca Santa Margarita is dedicated to providing work for women. The coffee industry has long been a male-dominated industry; however, Camila Topke is building her network opportunities throughout the world by working as a trader for an international coffee importing company, InterAmerican Coffee, in addition to managing the operations of Finca Santa Margarita. As a coffee trader Camila works directly with roasting companies throughout the United States, including Raleigh Coffee Company, to coordinate the purchase of coffee from around the world. The connections and knowledge that Camila has gained through her work as a coffee trader with InterAmerican Coffee has in turn opened market opportunities for the Finca Santa Margarita coffee allowing 2019 to be the first year that this coffee is sold in the US market. The farm is primarily operated by women. It is a goal of Finca Santa Margarita to continue to train these women in various skills that will allow them to continue growing in the industry. Quality of life for its workers is very important; the farm provides an elementary school for kids that live on the farm and neighboring farms (75 students), a small church, and additionally partners with the Guatemalan Department of Health to provide health clinics. Finca Santa Margarita covers a total area of 2,320 hectares (over 5,700 acres); however, only about 35% of the property is used to grow coffee. The rest of the farm is a natural forest full of native species of plants and animals. The farm has three water springs providing water to the farm that are also protected by the policies of environmental sustainability. Management practices at the farm are handled as an agroforestry system with very low intake of agrochemicals to limit the impact to the surrounding forest area. The vision and impact of Finca Santa Margarita goes far beyond the coffee that we get to enjoy in our cup today. Finca Santa Margarita is providing a platform for providing work and vocational training to Guatemalan women while preserving the natural beauty
of this country.