29 years old
Wet and dry mill manager
Rogelio was born in El Injerto. His parents are still working in the farm. He has worked in almost all the activities of the farm: in the field, as a caporal; during harvest, he is the wet and dry mill manager; he is also the roaster and the cupper for quality control of each batch of coffee.
knows that a good job in the wet mill starts in the coffee tree. Cherries have to be picked in the perfect moment of ripeness. Otherwise, his efforts in the beneficio will not be worth it. That is why he likes to accompany the pickers in the plantation and instruct them how and when to start selecting only the red ones. "We talk to them and explain the importance of picking only the ripen cherries. We also tell them that if they do a good job, then they will be rewarded accordingly", explains with confidence.
His knowledge has been enriched with the cupping and roasting trainings he has received. "When I cup the samples of the coffee lots, I know grassy flavor is due to ‘bayos’ or undeveloped beans". His concern goes beyond the wet mill. "Roasting is like cooking a beef. If you grill it with high temperature, you will only burn the outside, but the inside is still raw".
He enjoys working in the farm because he has been able to learn from all of the processes involved in the production of coffee. "I am happy when the owner congratulates me and when he recognizes that we are part of a team". Especially when he is notified that El Injerto´s coffee lot won again in the internet coffee auction. Since 2002, a coffee lot of its Bourbon variety has positioned in the top ten, and the Pacamara has won, since 2008, the first place consecutively.
"The owner informs us about the award and he rewards us as well", he smiles with full conviction that if he does well, the farm does well.
38 years old
Germán is, as well, a key player in El Injerto. His day starts at five in the morning. "I drink a cup of coffee from the farm, and then I go to the office to start planning the day for the workers", he smiles.
He has lived in El Injerto since he was born. He even met his wife here, when she was a coffee picker. "I married Catarina according to God´s law", he clarifies because normally, men "steal" their wives without notifying the parents. "We served turkey with pepián sauce to our guests", a local tomato sauce with different peppers and seeds.
Catarina raises their three children who study in La Barranca school, near the farm. Thanks to an agreement made with the school authorities, all of El Injerto’s employees can send their children to study there.
Germán’s favorite activity is working in the weed control. But he also enjoys cupping. When asked about the happiest moment working in the farm, without hesitation he responds: "When the owner tells us the coffee lot won in the auction, because we do a great effort producing it".
His worst moments are due to an event out of men’s will. "Rain is terrible when coffee is ready for harvest. It ruins it in the plants and in the wet mill. We have to act quickly to prevent the damage".
Germán’s day finishes just when his "responsibility commands it".
58 years old
Herminio learned how to take care of the coffee nursery in a farm nearby. He works in El Injerto since 2003, after his former employer died. "I do the seedbeds and the nurseries of all the varieties of coffee available in the farm". He uses trays instead of the traditional black plastic bags. "It is cheaper and it is environmentally friendly. With plastic bags, only 15 plants can be taken to the fields. With this new technique, we can take 48 plants in just one trip", he explains.
According to Herminio, the secret for a healthy nursery is his signature blend of the substrate: black soil, white sand and both worm and macadamia nutshell compost. "It is not just anyone, but the right amount for the plants". With the proper fertilizer, they only need to apply it once a year, in June. "It is very expensive, but it is worth it". He also likes to advice his co-workers when applying fertilizer in the plantation. But his place, he states, is the nursery.
He has also learned a lot from Rainforest Alliance, a certification El Injerto has since 2007. Last year, the farm obtained 95.8, the highest score achieved in Guatemala. It also won the first place in the annual cupping of certified coffees. "I follow all of the recommendations needed to apply those fertilizers", he states. He also believes that a bad fertilizer is comparable to those substances that harm the human body. "Coffee plants are just the same".
38 years old
Vidael is Rogelio´s brother. His first job in El Injerto was as a "caporal". Just as his brother, he enjoys all of the activities he has worked in. Others know him as "the chief", since they recognize his authority.
He knows that producing an exemplary coffee lot is not an easy task. "The secret is to do all of the activities properly". That is why he makes sure everyone is "doing his job". Working in a farm requires more than just a normal schedule. "One night, in the warehouse, two electrical cables started to fire. Everyone around gathered to help", he explains and remarks that there is no limit when talking about responsibility.
Each one of his co-workers understands they are part of a complex process. "We recognize our role and we work hard to achieve the expected results". The reward goes beyond a simple satisfaction. Pickers are rewarded based on productivity. They also receive free coffee from the farm while they wait for their coffee cherries to be weighted.
Vidael alternates turns with other managers to provide tickets to each of the pickers for their tortillas donation. Being a "chief" demands learning to fill up anyone’s position if needed. He knows that better now. After all, during harvest he is in charge of more than 800 people.
31 years old
Delmar was born in a village called Senegal, located in La Libertad, Huehuetenango. He studied his elementary school there. He would have liked to study Mathematics. He is good at numbers and no wonder he is now in charge of the payroll of El Injerto.
"We use a system called Agrismart to control all the work done by the employees. The region of the farm assigned to each of them, what exactly was done, when, hours and the amount to be paid", he explains while he shows the functions in the computer. He enjoys the work; he makes people happy.
The field is the only activity he misses. Because of the busy time working in the office, he can’t go as much as he would like to. "The harvest is like a feast in the farm. We enjoy it very much. Despite the hard work it demands, we miss it when it is over. But then, another activity comes in and we enjoy it as well. We never get bored".
He has even been trained to provide first aid for workers "If they harm themselves in the field, we help them with first aids. If it is a bigger injury, then we take them to the nearest clinic in town".
Numbers have always come naturally for him. "When I was a picker, I used to pick as much as two boxes of cherries", he recalls explaining it is around 220 pounds. He learned then that picking more, meant earning more. This is the formula he has used ever since.