Christmas Reserve:  El Aguacatal “La Garita”, Guatemala


Tastes: Gingerbread, molasses, clove, mellow
Producer: Petronilo de Jesus Martinez
Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra
Region: Huehuetenango
Processing: Fully washed
Altitude: 1,400-2,100m
Importer: Onyx



Finca El AguacatalPetronilo Martinez and son, Petronilo Jesus, manage Finca El Aguacatal on the Mexican Border. They named their farm after the avocado trees that were planted throughout the plantation. Onyx has been fortunate to know the Martinez Family for generations, and to have worked with them for many years.

El Aguacatal was founded in 1958 by Petronilo’s father Gumercindo Martir Martinez, who left the farm to him. Don Petronilo de Jesus was elected as President of the Agriculture Cooperative to direct the production activities with several people and bring the coffee grown in Hoja Blanca to market. He was president for 5 years, but then bought 6 more hectares of land which kept him very busy — by 1966 he was producing 300 quintales of parchment. In 2004 he began working to export his coffee through Onyx.

Finca El AguacatalThe family is big. They are very unified, and incredibly hard workers. Petronilo de Jesus Martinez and his wife Demetria Castillo Recinos have 8 children, 23 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Most of the family is working in coffee at different levels, from Petronilo’s award winning producer son-in-law Aurelio Villatoro to his  son Petronilo, a forestry engineer. Petronilo is 74 years old now. He enjoys walking on the farm to enjoy the sunshine and sounds of the river, watching his favorite soccer teams on TV, and reading his Bible.

“La Garita” is one lot among many found in several altitudes and locations around the area of Hoja Blanca, from 1400 to 2100 masl. They represent the quality of Huehue coffees, the unique flavors due to the very active micro-climates of Hoja Blanca and the quality soils in which they’re grown. The forests surrounding the farm and fresh water springs support the processing facilities of the farm.