An Update From Coffee Farmer Alexa Marin in Nicaragua | March 2023

Posted by Ashley Fleming on

Over the past few weeks in Sacramento, CA, where Pachamama HQ sits, we’ve been experiencing wild weather: unpredictable rainfall, wind toppling down trees and powerlines, and our close neighbor of Lake Tahoe is drowning, almost quite literally, in snow. While this may seem out of the ordinary for us, this is going to become more and more common as climate change impacts natural weather patterns around the world. 

Checking in on us, Alexa Marin shared just how the unprecedented weather has impacted her farm and most of Nicaragua’s coffee crops for that matter. The unpredictable rainfall, heat, frost etc are nothing new for Alexa. She has described in detail for years that the weather is changing, “confusing the plants,” and creating conditions for diseases to spread and thrive. 

“The heavy rains have been the cause of the rust that is advancing every day, it becomes more resistant and it becomes difficult to eliminate it, which causes more production costs and loss of coffee plants.”

coffee rust nicaragua ojo de gallo coffee plant disease nicaragua

These are the newest photos she shared detailing the coffee rust “el roya” (left) and a newer disease they refer to as “ojo de gallo” (right) which roughly translates to eye of the rooster.

Alexa stated “This cycle the coffee has this disease called ojo de gallo, it is  a fungus that attacks leaves, branches and fruits, this due to the constant changes in climate”

As you can see in the photos the impact on this singular tree is huge, let alone if this infects an entire plot. 

woman coffee farmer picking cherriesAlexa shares that they are working hard to control the infection. Over the next two months Alexa has her work cut out for her. 

“Work for march and april:

  1.  selective pruning of coffee plants that were damaged
  2.  fumigation to control rust and rooster's eye fungus
  3. Nursery planting
  4. Sowing of plantains and bananas, for food and shade for coffee”


Replacing infected trees and maintaining the crop is more expensive and time consuming as she describes, but there is no other option. If you want to make an impact for Alexa and other farmers like her, replant and future proof their crops, consider making a tree donation below. 


planting coffee seedlings planting coffee seedlings planting coffee seedlings

Climate change is going to (and currently is) impacting agriculture systems around the world. Since coffee growing is set to unique microclimates and growing conditions it will be hit hard. We have a choice to make as we move forward as a global community to choose to  invest in better systems for our planet. 

We are proud to be 100% certified organic by USDA and CCOF ensuring that natural ecosystems are cared for and maintained. This is only a small piece of the puzzle but one that could lead to devastating impacts if it is not taken seriously. 

Alexa has written for us before about the direct impacts she feels in Nicaragua from things like climate change, the pandemic, the coffee crisis and more. It is our job to continue to spread her message and share the possibility of a brighter future together. 

Read more from Alexa here: The Widening Coffee Crisis


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