Producer: Wilmar Castillo
Region: Hoja Blanca, Huehuetenango
Altitude: 1,350m above sea level
Varietals: Caturra, Bourbon
Guatemala is well known for its exceptional coffee production. The country has several micro regions and thus differentiated producing regions delivering a vast array of coffees. Of the three non-volcanic regions, Huehuetenango is the highest and driest under cultivation. This area is one of the best regions in Guatemala for coffee production.
Huehuetenango borders the east side Mexico and is at the foot of the Cuchumatanes, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America. Interestingly, this region is protected from frost due to the hot air which originates in the Mexican Tehuantepec plain. The region has an almost unlimited number of rivers and streams, so a mill can be located just about anywhere.
Despite its ideal growing conditions, Huehuetenango does face certain challenges. Foremost is its extreme remoteness, which requires most producers to process their own coffee. Both a good and bad thing, this means that education is a must for best practices or inconsistency and low quality is sure to ensue.
The Castillo’s Finca Vista al Bosque is in the municipality Hoja Blanca and literally on the last mountain range before reaching the Mexican border of La Mesilla.
Wilmar Castillo’s been working in coffee more or less since he was six years old. Tagging along with his father and three older brothers, the family worked on farms from their home in La Libertad throughout Huehuetenango. Some of the earliest memories Wilmar shares include his father’s passion and care for coffee. Everything he learned during those hard years he attributes to his success now, and he is set on providing a brighter future for his family.
Looking back, Wilmar knew he would end up in Hoja Blanca. Stories were passed around about this little valley, folks calling it a blessed land. He finally convinced the family to move about 14 years ago and is so glad for that.
The farm is now divided into 4 sections, which are run by Felino Castillo and his three sons, Wilmer, Edwin and Arsenio. In total there are 300 hectares with 210 coffee plants. Vista al Bosque is a great example of the Huehuetenango region and hard work.