My name is Hugo Lopez and I work as Quality Control Analyst with Virmax Mesoamerica in El Salvador. Through this way I’d like to wish you success in your work and blessings in your life. Before I started working with Virmax Mesoamerica, I worked 9 years as an assistant cupper in a Cooperative in Chalchuapa. I spent some time working on the wet mills and drying coffee on the patios. I worked with specialty coffee occasionally, when Cup of Excellence was in town, assisting to prepare and vacuum pack the lots for export. It was interesting to be a part of that because of the amount of care that was taken with the coffees. I didn't know a lot about coffee back then, but I knew I really wanted to work with producers to improve their quality.
Today I would like to share my experience and the opportunity that I had during my stay in Colombia visiting farms, facilities, and laboratories of Virmax Colombia.
In Colombia, there is a lot of land dedicated to coffee and many coffee farms with a lot of good coffee like in Central America. We know that Colombia is the “land of coffee” but there is something very important, which is that they know how to treat coffee as something special. For example, what I could observe was that the producers want to improve their coffee farms. What most impressed me was something that I had never seen in other companies, and that was the way that Virmax Colombia treats coffee producers.
At Virmax Mesoamerica we are also doing this, helping coffee producers improve their coffee and teach them to produce a good cup quality. But the work that my co-workers in Colombia and here in El Salvador do is to see that customers and producers are both satisfied. I had never seen that a company was concerned about the producer. It was great to observe that my colleagues in Pitalito, Huila, not only cup the coffee to purchase or reject, but they also take the time to explain to the producer how to improve their coffee. They grow Caturra, which produces a very sweet cup, with a good body and good acidity.
What I was able to learn in Colombia, today we are practicing in El Salvador in Metapan in the department of Santa Ana and La Palma in the department of Chalatenango. We are working in the same manner, hand in hand, developing relationships with the producers, and producers are very happy. We are also working like this with producers in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, all of Central America. It was hard at first to get the ball rolling, but now I think we all have the same goal - to assist each other and improve the quality of the coffee by taking care of our farms, and taking pride in our work to produce a better coffee.
Well, this is my experience. Today we are doing what others don’t want to do. Our location in Metapan is excellent, the best place to be because we are close to Chalatenango, and near the Trifinio with Honduras and Guatemala, where the best producers and best coffee is. Every day we try to do the best that we can.
Sincerely, Hugo Lopez QC Analyst, Virmax Mesoamerica
Perfil de Hugo Lopez, Analista de Calidad
Mi nombre es Hugo Lopez y trabajo en Virmax Mesoamerica en El Salvador. Por este medio me dirijo a ustedes deseandoles que tengan éxito en sus labores, y bendiciones en sus vidas. Quiero compartirles mi experiencia laborales y de la oportunidad que tuve para aprender en mi capacitación en Colombia visitando fincas y las instalaciones y laboratorios de Virmax Colombia.
En Colombia hay muchas tierras, mucho cafetales, en los cuales hay mucho café bueno como en muchas partes de Centro América. Sabemos que Colombia es la tierra del café pero hay algo muy importante que saber y es cómo tratar el cafeto. Por ejemplo, lo que pude observar en Colombia fue como los productores quieren mejorar sus cultivos de café. Pero lo que mas pude contemplar sobre la empresa con la hoy yo trabajo fue algo que nunca lo he visto en otras empresas y eso es el trato con los productores.
Y lo que yo pude aprender durante mi tiempo en Colombia hoy lo estamos poniendo en práctica en mi tierra natal, en el departamento de Santa Ana, Metapan, El Salvador. Estamos trabajando igual, osea de la mano y entablando una relación con el productor. En lo cual ellos están muy contentos. Y tambien estamos trabajando en La Palma, Chalatenango, en Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, todo Centro América.
Bueno esta es mi experiencia laboral. Ahora hacemos los que otros no quieren hacer, y tenemos el mejor lugar en Metapan, El Salvador, en un punto muy excelente por que estamos cerca del Trifinio, Honduras, Guatemala, y de los mejores productores y el mejor café. Todos los dias tratamos de hacer lo mejor posible.
Atentamente, Hugo Lopez, Analista de Calidad, Virmax Mesoamerica
Virmax Mesoamerica (VMA) was established in 2012 to source and export high quality coffee from small and medium sized coffee producers in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. VMA provides year-round technical assistance, cupping services and pre-financing to producers helping improve the quality of the coffee produced. During the harvest VMA sources the very best coffees, mills and exports them to the world's most demanding coffee roasters. VMA is part of the Caravela Coffee Group.