On the south-western side of Hoja Blanca, in the Cuilco department of Huehuetenango, lies finca Buena Esperanza. For more than forty years Doña Maria Castillo, a widow, has been farming coffee, every year hoping for a good harvest. The 'Good Hope' persists today in Maria's thirty year old son Noe, who farms these steep mountains with his brother Marvel. Noe's pride in the land he was given is evident, and he's eager to explain his process and techniques, which he learned from his 10 years working for Nicolas Castillo of Nueva Esperanza, a neighboring farm and Onyx partner.
Chalum and avocado trees protect the Bourbon and Caturra trees, and the family strives to use organic products for fertilization wherever possible. Having recovered greatly from the coffee rust of past seasons, Noe has invested in more effective pruning methods -- the production yield this season (2019) will be smaller, but he hopes to improve the health of the trees and increase yields in the future. Processing has improved greatly due to a brand new, much larger drying patio and new wet mill. Water is fed from pure ground springs, or nacimientos as opposed to the river, as lot and mill are high above the river.