The Municipality of Paez in Cauca is an area of land that sits high on a Colombian plateau called the ‘Macizo Colombiano’. This area is perfect for growing specialty coffee as altitudes reach over 2000 masl. Coffee was introduced here at the end of the 18th Century in the Indigenous Reservation of Vitonco by a Catholic Priest as a way to try to control the native inhabitants and convert them to the Church. Now it is the main source of income for these communities especially as the region has begun to open with the settling of the violence and civil war.
This region which has many indigenous inhabitants there is a program called Pazadentro (Peace within) which works within the municipalities of Inza, Paez and Totoro in this corner of Cauca. The program is there supported by the European Union to help promote sustainable production in and improve the socio-economic standards of the inhabitants of these lands. The fund is aimed to help secure peace through small holder agriculture and commerce to which coffee is one. The coffee farmers in this region have received help with training and new equipment to improve their knowledge and quality of coffee production.
Finca El Naranjal is a 5ha in size which is quite large for producers in this region. The farm in the local are of Avirama in Paez. This farm belongs to Isaias Cutocue whose family for generations have been growing coffee here. They have 4 ha ha planted with coffee typica, caturra, colombia and tabi. Amongst these trees there have numerous native trees and fruit trees planted within the coffee to provide shade but also food for his family.
Once the coffee is picked the coffee is fermented over night in tanks and then washed and cleaned before then being dried for 7-10 days in a drying tent.