Mar 30, 2021 • 42M

Growing Coffee in Colombia with Luísa de Salazar and Astrid Medina

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A few weeks ago, the folks at Amor Perfecto, a coffee roaster based in Bogotá, Colombia, reached out to me. They offered to send some coffees from a new project they were launching: a collaboration with the Frida Kahlo Corporation, which highlights women producers and innovators within the country’s specialty coffee scene.

After I tried the two coffees they sent, they asked if I’d be interested in talking to the women who had grown them. One coffee was from the Tolima region in southern Colombia, and was grown by Astrid Medina (pictured on the left in red helping pick coffee with two coffee pickers) who won Colombia’s Cup of Excellence—a national competition that awards the country’s best coffees—in 2015. The other coffee came from northern Colombia, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, and was grown by Luísa de Salazar (pictured on the right in orange touching a bed of dried coffee in parchment). Both growers were kind enough to share their triumphs and hardships with me on this podcast.

A note on this episode: I highly recommend following along with the transcript, because there will be sudden shifts from English to Spanish. I ask all the questions in English and Astrid and Luísa respond in Spanish, while the Amor Perfecto team joins in and shares translation duties.

The result is warm and rough-and-tumble episode—there are multiple voices and moments where people talk over one another—and in places the sound quality dips (for Astrid in particular, who was recording outside on her farm). Regardless of the audio hiccups, I believe hearing people tell stories in their own words is deeply valuable, and I hope you enjoy hearing from the folks who make your daily coffee possible. Here are Astrid Medina and Luísa de Salazar.

Ashley: Thank you both so much for taking the time to talk with me. We actually have a lot of the Amor Perfecto team here, and then we also have Luísa de Salazar and Astrid Medina—Luís Fernando Vélez will be translating for us. So I’m going to be asking questions and then you'll hear Luís translating those questions for us. To start, I was wondering if both of you could talk about what it was like growing up in Colombia around coffee.

Luís Fernando Vélez: A Ashley quiere saber un poquito para ustedes que representa haber nacido y ser creado en Colombia en una finca cafetera? Y yo quisiera empezar esta pregunta por Astrid.

Doña Astrid Medina: Buenas tardes. Para mi representa la felicidad.

Luís: It represents happiness.  

Astrid: Soy la mujer mas feliz de poder aver ser nacido en el campo, haberme creado en el campo con tanta naturaleza y con tantas bendiciones, y ahora pues ofrecer al mundo un buen cafe.

Luís: I’m the happiest woman in the world. I’m really happy being born on a farm surrounded by all the forest and all the blessings that I have here. And now, I'm even more than happy, because I can offer my coffee to everyone in the world.


Doña Luísa de Salazar: Para nosotros es un orgullo haber podido conservar tanto tiempo la finca y están todos los recuerdos de la infancia de la juventud y todo, no vivimos allá en este momento pero siempre estamos en contacto y es lo máximo haber la podido porqué del sueño de nuestros padres, entonces haber podido llegar a realizar todas estas cosas ha sido una gran experiencia. Nos mantienen muy contentos.

Luís: We are very proud to have had the farm for more than 60 years and to me, all the memories that come to my mind are from when we were children and we traveled to the farm with our parents, and we are happy [that we get] to keep the farm and to offer this product to all the world.

When I think about coffee, all the memories of the farm come to my mind and it’s been a huge effort to keep the farm in the hands of the family and to produce a good coffee today.

Ashley: So both of you come from family farms—I was wondering if you could talk about when you decided that was what you wanted to do. Was it always obvious that you were going to take over and be involved in the farm or was there a moment where you thought, “Maybe this is not what I want to do,” but then you changed your mind or something changed your mind?

Luís: Ella pregunta que si para ustedes fue obvio siempre quedarse en el mundo del café o si en un momento en que ustedes pensaron ‘sí, yo definitivamente quiero quedarme en el mundo de café’ o tuvieron una duda en pensar en algo diferente? Astrid?

Astrid: Que? Yo ví ... en un momento yo no quería hacer café cultura porque no era una experiencia gratificante a que vivía mi padre produciendo cafés normales con precios bajos entonces yo veía … [crosstalk]

Luís: There was a moment I didn't want to be a coffee grower because at that time I looked at my father’s suffering—[he was] producing regular coffees at very low prices [crosstalk] with a lot of necessities of the farm. Adelante.

Astrid: Pero cuando decidimos participar en concursos de calidad y miramos que es produciendo café de calidad podría cambiar nuestra calidad de vida y indiscutiblemente nunca lo he pensado y nunca me querio devolver me querio quedarme siempre aquí produciendo café de alta calidad.

Luís: But when we decided to participate in a contest of high-quality coffees and we saw the results, that [was the] moment I said, “I don't want to go back, we’ll stay here, produce very high work, very high-quality coffees, and I don't think to go back to anything else than coffee.”


Luísa: Para nosotros en la finca muchos años, o hasta no hace tantos años, eran nuestros padres y nos que la manejaban y de eso dependíamos todo. Es gracias a la finca podimos hacer otras cosas, yo soy odontóloga, ya estoy retirada porque, los años, ya, mi profesor de universitaria regrese y a mi madre falleció entonces [he tomado las riendas] de la finca. Todo esa ha sido siempre estado en contacto con [el negocio].

Luís: In our case, it was different because, for us, coffee was everything. I went to college because of the farm, but then my mother passed away.

I am a dentist; thanks to coffee I could study to become a dentist. But then when my mother died and because I am now retired as a dentist, I took over the farm and we are now running the farm and having it allows us to produce good coffee. 

Ashley: So it seems like for Astrid the idea of competition—entering coffees into high-quality coffee competitions—really changed what coffee was like for you, so I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about entering coffee competitions and then what it was like to win the Cup of Excellence?

Luís: Que, hablando de competencias y hablando de el caso de Astrid y en el que las competencias la empezaron hacer pensar en calidad, y hablando de todo ese proceso, ?cómo fue ese proceso en que empezaron a mejorar la calidad y en él que usted ganó la taza de excelencia?

Astrid: Bueno en el año 2014, nosotros en la finca [y realmente?] teníamos muchos caturros, café caturro en toda la zona. Pero [vieron que ahí] era muy difícil de [donde] empezó a [llegar] la roya y acabar con nuestros cafetales y también con nuestras cosechas. Entonces la Federación Nacional de Cafeteros lanzó una variedad de café que se llama Castillo. En el año 2014, para la gente que producía café Castillo, había un programa que se llamaba [NH Time?] Eso era para gente que tenía esa variedad y que recordiamos a los cuatros semanas erá como cosechas tardías, entonces tenga que dejar que estuviera muy maduro buscar una fermentación adecuada y nos daban un precio alto y mas el factor, mas 300,000 pesos en carga, así que tuvimos un cupo para 40 cargas de café de nuestra finca y pues pudimos un ingreso que nos permitió empezar hacer inversión en la infraestructura.

Luís: In the year 2014, we had a lot of Caturra [varietals] on the farm and the roya came and almost destroyed everything. Then the FNC [Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia or Colombian Coffee Growers Federation] established a program with a new variety called Castillo, and also a program that was called [NH Time?] which promoted the idea to pick coffee cherries at the very last moment—more overripe [than underripe]—and in that program they pay us the basic price plus 300,000 pesos per carga, which allows us to improve the infrastructure of the farm.

Astrid: En el año 2015, ya mucha gente en nuestra zona participaba en la taza de excelencia, entonces nosotros sepamos de 1,780 metros y estábamos trabajando con el segundo semestre, con la [mitica], eh, decidimos participar con mi esposo en la taza de excelencia y se decidió [usar] el nombre mío, eran 16 cargas para poder cumplir con este café entonces hicimos con Castillo, caturro, y Colombia todavía teníamos, todavía seguíamos con la idea de que podríamos producir caturro. Participamos y fue así como tuvimos primer puesto en el año 2015.

Luís: In 2015 a lot of people from our region were participating in the Cup of Excellence. We decided to enroll in the program and we were working with the harvest of “mitica,” which is the second-semester harvest. We used a blend of Castillo, Colombia, and Caturra, and we needed to put 16 cargas of coffee to enroll. They enrolled us with the name of Astrid together with my husband. So, we presented the coffee and that’s how we won. 

Ashley: That’s a good point to point out—I have these two coffees here from Amor Perfecto and they have your names on them, they have Luisa’s name, they have Astrid’s name, and I was wondering if you could talk about how that feels, and how important does it feel to feature women who are producing coffee?

Luís: Cómo se sienten ustedes de que en las bolsas esté el nombre de ustedes en que ustedes y que ustedes están como las protagonistas de estos cafés? Adelante Luísa. 

Luísa: Muy contenta, muy orgullosa la verdad, ha sido una cosa increíble llegar a una feria nacional de los cafés especiales en Bogotá y que las personas que estaban y que eran años, dicen ‘la señora que está en la bolsa’ es una cosa muy gratificante la verdad es él, así que es el fruto de la cosecha. Gracias a Luís Fernando y a todo [el] entusiasmo que le ha puesto y [hemos] logrado en [el formato] y a todas las personas que nos colaboran obtener una calidad extraordinaria en el café y haber podido ganar en primer place

Luís: I feel very proud. I'm very happy when I go to a show, a coffee show, and people are there saying, ‘Oh, there’s the lady [whose name is on] the bag!’ And since then, we feel very happy to do it and that’s thanks to all the effort that people like Manuel Mata and key people that have supported us and gave us the opportunity to produce this coffee. And it's also thanks to Amor Perfecto that puts us on the coffee bag. Astrid?

Astrid: Don Fernando, no hay palabras para describir tanto felicidad y tanto orgullo que siente uno de ser productor de café. 

Luís: I have no words, I have no words and ways to express my happiness of being a coffee grower.

Luísa: Yo creo que yo siempre resaltado que uno solo como productor no lo podría lograr jamás, que es estar conectado con una empresa como Amor Perfecto que hace la otra parte que nosotros como productores no sabemos.

Luís: I have always said that we as growers alone cannot do everything. It’s being connected with companies like Amor Perfecto that we can do the best job [we can] because we don’t know what they know to do and … adelante Astrid.

Astrid: Yo creo que solo nunca no lo logriamos porque a veces uno se dedica a trabajar y a trabajar y es conocer otras oportunidades que hay en el mundo y yo creo que es gracias a Amor Perfecto y a cada una de esas personas que deciden a apoyar a un productor y hacer de que esa calidad de vida en cada familia cada dia mejore mas, como dice Dona Luísa que cada vez que mejora la calidad de vida de uno como productor, también mejora la calidad de la vida de la gente que trabajan con uno.

Luís: Alone we cannot do it. I think it’s with the effort of everybody, companies like Amor Perfecto and other people around Amor Perfecto and other people that work with us, as Luísa was saying. As long as our life quality improves, all the people around us improve their quality. If the salaries of the farmers are better, the salaries [of the people around us are better]. If the payment of the farmers is better, the salaries of the people on the farm level are better and all are more happy, I would say.

Ashley: So it seems like there’s a lot of really tangible value to being connected to a coffee roaster that is going to promote you. So having someone like Amor Perfecto, for example, put Luísa and Astrid on their bags has had a very positive tangible influence on their outcomes, like they’re making more money and things like that.

I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about what it means to have market access and if there was a time, maybe before, when you didn't have that market access, where things were different—I think Astrid even talked about her father getting paid a lot less before, and seeing how hard it was to grow coffee when you weren't making as much money. Does that make sense? It's a complicated question. 

Luís: Is that a question for me or for them?

Ashley: A little bit for the both of them because I imagine that there must have been a big difference in being able to have a national or international platform versus not having that same market access share. 

Luís: Un poco de la pregunta de Ashley es, como se sienten ustedes de estar conectadas en el mercado internacional y haber podido entrar a ese mundo internacional a través de la bolsa Amor Perfecto en comparación con lo que pasaba antes muy seguramente con sus padres que recibían un precio por la cosecha mucho más bajo y que no permitieran una cantidad de cosas ustedes si pueden hacer hoy con la finca? No sé si Ignacio si usted me ayudas con la traducción de ellas un poco.

Ignacio: Con mucho gusto. Ashley lo que pregunta es básicamente, bueno, que está diciendo Luís, de que si es notable la diferencia de ir de la mano con un productor, como un productor de café tostado como Amor Perfecto este, para poder llevar y subir la calidad de los cafés de ustedes, los precios que reciben, y los beneficios que esto conlleva para ustedes y los trabajadores de la finca? … Luisa.

Ignacio: I can take over Luís for a little while so you rest. 

Luís: OK. [Laughs] 

Luísa: Si, es completamente diferente y estamos muy contentos y muy agradecidos, de verdad, con Don Fernando con Hugo, con todas las personas que han logrado que lleguemos en este momento, porque nada que ver cuando que era antes, era un esfuerzo de todo, un año porque nosotros no tenemos dos cosechas, tenemos una sola al final del año y llegar y ayudas penas, alcanzar para los gastos que vencido.

Ignacio: Ashley, she’s saying it makes all the difference in the world because in the past it wasn't a differentiated price and there wasn’t a buyer who would recognize, through pricing and image, their efforts. They were barely scratching [together] an existence by producing and then selling their one crop a year—their farm, Sierra Nevada, is just entering the harvest season right now. So she said it makes all the difference in the world.

Doña Astrid, la misma pregunta para usted por favor, que si hace una gran diferencia trabajar con un tostador y productor de café como Amor Perfecto, particularmente Don Luís que se ha avocado a esto?

Astrid: Por supuesto, que juntos a una [marca] nacional como Amor Perfecto, como Luís Fernando, [le da] la oportunidad a hombres y mujeres de su café. En el mundo es una oportunidad [grandisima, grandiosa], por eso es que ahora yo no me quiero ir nunca de mi finca. Quiero trabajar y trabajar y replicar nuestro modelo con muchos más de nuestra zona, que mucha más gente [le da la] oportunidad tan grande que una [no] se pierde de [tanto] por desconocer el camino o por tener el temor. 

Pero Don Luís Fernando en el país, Don Luís Fernando él es en el país, ha hecho que el mundo nos reconozcan y eso indiscutiblemente ha cambiado la calidad de vida de nosotros y de la gente que trabaja con nosotros y en nuestras familias, y aquí ahora una puede invertir y hacer cosas en nuestra unidad productiva.

Ignacio: Astrid says there's absolutely no way they could've done this without the dedication of a national roaster that's now turning into an international brand—it’s long overdue. And that without the dedication and the different business model of Amor Perfecto, they couldn't accomplish … she loves working in her farm—she just repeats it every time she talks about it, and now she doesn't have to worry about scratching [together] an existence trying to survive. 

Rather, she can think more about the future and how she can make things better and better. She never wants to leave her farm and she says that the partnership with [Innovakit] and Amor Perfecto makes all the difference in the world for what she wants to achieve now as a coffee farmer.

Ashley: So maybe this is a question for you, but it seems like market access is a huge, huge differentiator between being able to scrape by versus being able to excel and thrive and maybe even win the Cup of Excellence one year?

Ignacio: Ashley, look, Luís Fernando has been doing this for 23 years, I've known him for seven, and his model is just completely different. He starts ... we always say we work for the farmers—it’s not the other way around. So he knows, being in Colombia, what a fair price is and he won’t pay anything other than a fair price, even ... he just won’t do it, and to do that it’s ... so we work for the farmer. That means we have to make sure that the farmer is happy and it’s a pact that we will take care of you and you produce coffees that are of the highest quality you can produce, and we’ll make sure the world knows this. And so that’s just that again, Luís Fernando and Amor Perfecto would never do this any other way.

Ashley: I was wondering, because we haven't talked too much about Luisa’s family and her farm, and I was wondering if she could give us more of a background about her family and her father and how they started their farm.

Ignacio: Sure sure—by the way Luísa is a odontólogo. Odontólogo is an orthodontist. She worked as an orthodontist but she always had ties to the farm that helped pay for her education and her career and so she knew that she was going to go back and she’s happy to be back. 

Doña Luisa, Ashley pregunta de cómo llegó sus padres y este a comprar una finca en Sierra Nevada y montar una finca de café y producir café y que la mantiene usted con ese legado por favor.

Luísa: Mis padres née Italiano llegó a Colombia en vivió 51 años aquí hasta que falleció, y en sus sueños le parecía divino, él área del sud de Italia, y las montañas aquí de la Sierra y la cercanía del mar porque a 12 kilómetros de la finca, que es una de las [recorridas] de la Sierra Nevada, está el mar. En ese contraste le parecía lo máximo por[que] allí no hay [cambio] de las estaciones y nada sino [el] clima [caliente] todo el tiempo en Santa Marta entonces allá en la finca encontraba una temperatura deliciosa [y un] cambio completamente el clima y todo [para] el [era] el café y ese fue el sueño, siempre [era] como sentirse ganador de la lotería poder tener un [?] no importaban [todo sumaban] nos [trataban] con el amor y a toda [la gente] [de] la finca y a nosotros en la [realidad] de yo [poder] devolver [a] echarme a cargo de todo.

Ignacio: A ver, that’s a great answer. Her father fell in love with the Sierra Nevada and the idea of doing something and growing things in the mountains. The special thing about the Sierra Nevada [region] is that it’s about 15 kilometers from the Caribbean and so she said he just enjoyed, for 50+ years, the proximity to the ocean and the incredible temperature. 

He got completely addicted to producing coffee up in the mountain and it was, she says that he felt like he had won the lottery with those circumstances and so she just ... she grew up in that very positive environment and she just wants to continue doing this and ... much to what Astrid said, these farmers, they love what they do, and that’s what she’s expressing.

Ashley: That’s incredible. It must be so lovely to absolutely love what you do and also get to experience something that you can drink—something that you can hold in your hand—so going back to Will’s question a little bit, how would you describe your coffees?

Ignacio: That's a great question. Doña Luisa … una excelente pregunta personal para mi porque tengo años tomando el café de ustedes dos, entonces [laughs] aquí lo tengo, hoy me tomé las dos. Ella quiere saber cómo ustedes, como caficultores, hablarían de su café, el café que hemos perfecto como esta ... y le ofrece al mundo. Como la descripción de su café. Si usted fuera a decir a alguien a que sabe su café y cómo se siente tomar su café, cómo lo expresaría? Doña Astrid por favor, para usted se ... hará lo encontraste los dos cafés de ustedes es muy grande.

Astrid: Bueno, yo creo que mi café es el resultado de un esfuerzo mutu, de mucha gente que quiera hacer las cosas bien. Siempre seleccionado uno a uno cada cereza retirando los verdes y los pintones, siempre son cafés que han flotados siempre son cafés que son producidos con todo el cariño en el mundo. Siempre estamos muy enamorados de realizar una gran tarea. Entonces yo siempre que estoy seleccionando las caseras o estoy haciendo flotes o estoy mirando el café que traen los recolectores. Siempre quiero que los mejores granos se han los que son seleccionados. Son los que son para los microlotes que siempre los compran Amor Perfecto.

Ignacio: Okay. Doña Luisa, ahorita dejarnos a responder lo que ... Dona Astrid, en que este.

She’s saying this is a team effort. This is dedication and a team effort of making sure the cherries are picked when they’re ripe. [Have you seen] how they paint their nails? Each of the coffee varieties has a tone, an ideal mature level of ripeness and it has to do with the color of the cherries so they paint their fingernails to understand which is the right color to pick. So what she’s said is she takes enormous pride in the—she calls it microlots—that are the most select coffees of her farms and the neighborhoods and they only pick the absolute best for the lots that they sell to Amor Perfecto. And they're just methodical that that’s how they do it. 

Doña Luísa le puede hacer la misma pregunta también en los sabores, que busca, como .. .habla de su café, por favor.

Luísa: El café de nosotros es el más sabroso que se pueda tomar, la verdad, es muy suave, es con un sabor a cacao y a flores, a frutos, es una cosa exquisita. Nos saben la tosion que le hace Don Fernando es increíble y hemos logrado nosotros hemos mejorado como [gente de] los cultivos y hemos mejorado el proceso del secado y el beneficio del café para obtener cada vez la mejor calidad, y hemos hecho todo el esfuerzo tanto como económico, como físico, como emocional, y como decía Astrid, prepararse pepa por pepa de café asi no se vayan las [gente] y que todo será de máxima calidad, las [paseras?] en con todo todo todo todo no [escatimamos] de esfuerzo y ponemos todo [el] entusiasmo y todo el amor a lo que estamos haciendo. La verdad, es ha sido un gran premio de la vida porque se ven los resultados.

Ignacio: The only thing better than the question were the answers. 

OK, so what she’s saying is they’re very careful. They make sure—all the coffee in Colombia is handpicked, there are no machine-picked coffees in Colombia—but they take extra care [to ensure the] ripeness of each one of their beans. 

Doña Luísa says that her coffees have a very noted chocolate flavor that’s characteristic yet is very elegant at the same time. And she thinks it’s the best coffee in the world. Again, that's the beauty of Colombia, the coffee in Sierra Nevada tastes very different from the coffee of Tolima, and you can tell the difference when the beans are fresh and you can decide, “Well today I feel like this [kind of coffee].” 

She's saying they take enormous pride in producing the best coffee and she knows that Luís Fernando and the Amor Perfecto roasters will take this product that they are so proud of and roast it to perfection to produce the coffee that people want to drink.

Ashley: What would you want drinkers of your coffee or people on the consuming end of the coffee supply stream to know about you and your coffees?

Ignacio: Bueno, otra pregunta bueno. Ellos quieren, Ashley está preguntando que, que quisieran ustedes que los bebedores de su café digan de su café y de ustedes, por favor? 

Luísa: Sigan consumiendolo porque le hemos puesto todo el cariño, todo el entusiasmo, toda la energía para que cada cosecha sea mejor que la anterior y puedan disfrutarlo intensamente

Ignacio: She’s asking people to continue to drink [her coffee] so they can appreciate all the dedication and love that has gone into making the coffee—so that, year after year, they can produce it better and better. 

And look Ashley, I've been drinking Luísa and Astrid’s coffee for four or five years with Amor Perfecto in Bogota, and it changes every year. This is the best year of Luísa’s coffee I’ve personally tasted. Luísa, Astrid dropped off. Let's wait for her to reconnect to ask her the same question, great question. 

Doña Astrid, qué le diría [a los] que consumidores de su café y de usted cuando prueban el café? Astrid?

Astrid: Creo que, si? ¿Me escucha?

Ignacio: Si, cuentame [crosstalk] cómo responden? Si, por favor.

Astrid: Bueno, lo que yo quiero es que los consumidores de nuestro café bajo la marca Amor Perfecto es [connection issues, coming in and out] que lo quieren tomar [poor audio quality] por siempre y que se sientan felices. Sientan [bad connection, poor audio quality] y lo recomiendan a otros, para poder ser [bad connection] en el mundo de cafe.

Ignacio: She wants people to be happy when they drink her coffee and to enjoy the coffee that she makes. She specifically said that because it is roasted by Amor Perfecto, people are happy, so happy that they recommend the coffee to other people and her coffee becomes more and more recognized and enjoyed around the world.

Ashley: I was wondering if both of you can talk a little bit about the future of your farms. What are you looking forward to and what for you represents success?

Ignacio: La pregunta Astrid para ambas es ¿que, por favor pensando en el futuro de la finca y usted, que aspiran, que hacen de ustedes en el futuro para su café y para su finca y para sus trabajadores? Astrid, si quieres, con usted por favor. Está en, necesitan quitar, poner el micrófono.

Astrid: Listo, ya. Mire. En el finca yo siempre sueño por mejorar. Cada día que mi finca sea una granja productiva, con menos necesidades. Ya les decía que mi finca acaba de 1,780 a 2,000 metros. Tenemos lotes casi sobre los 2,000 a los cuales los trabajadores tienen que cargar ese café al hombro. Yo quisiera hacer una inversión de una garrucha o de un caule como fuese mas fácil para nosotros y para ellos trabajar. Y quisiera tener en mi finca un comedor mucho más amplio donde [estemos más cómodos cuando están sentados]. Quisiera realizar en el finca muchas más [unidades] sanitarias para que [son] pequeña las [que]tenemos. Son inversiones -que una siempre suena para mejorar la calidad de la vida nuestra y la gente que trabajan por nosotros. Porque la gente que trabaja con nosotros tenga menos riesgo de tener accidentes.

Ignacio: Ok, dejame traducir.

She always wants to improve her coffee and she’s thinking about how to make things better and how to make life better for her workers. So I don't know if you understood, her farm starts at 1,700 [kilometers] and goes up over 2,000, and that’s a long way to haul the beans up and down, and so she’d love to have a pulley system—I guess is what she’s talking about and improve the workers ... just make it easier for them. 

She also would like to build out a new dining area for them to be able to have better meals and a more relaxed environment. She’s always thinking about how to make things better for her farmers and how to make better coffee. 

Doña Luísa cuéntame usted que aspiraría para su futuro y su finca y su cafe?

Luísa: Explosionando cada vez mas y mas y mas y llegar hacer lo mejores de Colombia y los mejores de la Sierra Nevada y Santa Martha, la verdad. Necesitamos que ojala la vía de acceso a nuestra finca mejoren porque las vías no son tan buenas y como decía Astrid una carucha para no tener que subirnos en la mula y todas estas podrás mejorar [en esto] la calidad. En ese sentido mejorar porque la verdad hemos hecho inversiones y tendemos que seguir haciendo en nuestra finca para ahora con la pandemia nos tocaban a mejorar y nos de los baños, los maroces para ello y los ahora en esta época de cosecha entonces han sido inversiones y cada vez nos esperan más y quisieramos hacer mas la verda.

Ignacio: Let me start backwards. She mentioned COVID—and Astrid mentioned this as well—COVID has required them to have a much better health situation, particularly in terms of sanitation, so they want to focus more resources on that. Luisa says she wants to produce the best coffee in Colombia—make it better and better for everybody and she also mentioned the same [hurdles as Astrid]—of relying on mule-drawn and manual labor and wanting to put in place a pulley system to make it easier. This will translate into a better crop of coffee and better coffee beans for everybody.

Ashley: This has been really incredible and I appreciate both of you taking time to talk to me. 

This transcript was edited lightly for clarity. Thank you to Bani Amor, Jeni Green, and Ignacio Iribarren for help translating and clarifying.

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