Dionel Chilito & Olivia Ortiz

Finca El Roble

COUNTRY

Colombia

MUNICIPALITY

Pitalito

HARVEST

First semester: May – July (30%)
Second semester: October – December (70%)

DEPARTMENT

Huila

ALTITUDE

1,730 MASL

VARIETIES

Caturra  Colombia  Geisha

Finca El Roble is located in Pitalito, the second most important municipality in Huila after Neiva. It is located in the Macizo Colombiano, the area where the three Colombian mountain ranges come together. Pitalito is also known as the Valley of Laboyos, due to its location over the Valley of Rio Grande de la Magdalena. Finca El Roble is owned by Dionel Chilito and his family, his wife, children, and brother. Dionel and his brother inherited the farm from their parents, thirty years ago and since then they have been producing coffee and working together on the farm to make a living. Dionel is responsible for coffee tree management and the processes, and his brother helps him, together with the workers that they hire during the harvest.

In 2011, he noticed that many farmers in the region were changing their procedures on their farms and were starting to produce specialty coffee. This was when Dionel started to do some research, he attended trainings and visited other farms to learn about this process. At this point, Dionel didn’t even dry his own coffee, but then he learned about the importance of carrying out this process on the farm and he built a covered drying patio. Dionel then made one of the riskiest decisions of his life in coffee; he changed 500 trees of Caturra, all for Geishas. His neighbours and people in the region thought he was crazy for doing it, but he believed in the potential of those Geishas on his farm and the processes that he was going to put them through. His decision paid off, because these Geishas have had great results, he has achieved great quality, and much higher prices. Now, he is more focused than ever to continue improving the quality.