The Heartbeat of Alexa's Farm: A Tale of Women, Resilience, and Exceptional Coffee

Posted by Helen Lentze on

In the highlands of Northern Nicaragua, nestled near the border to Honduras, lies a smallholder farm that embodies the essence of women empowerment, resilience, and exceptional coffee. This is Alexa Marin's farm, a place where the rhythm of life flows with the cycles of nature, where the legacy of four generations of women echoes through the dense greenery, and where every cup of coffee tells a story of the people who have farmed on this land.

Alexa is more than a coffee farmer; she is a guardian of the land, carrying forward the indigenous farming knowledge passed down to her by her mother, her mother’s mother and the many women who came before. From a young age, Alexa's hands have worked the soil along with her family, she has witnessed the wonder of growth, and she lives in tune with the rhythms of the earth. For her family, coffee farming is a way of life—a sacred bond with the land that sustains and feeds them. 

Envisioning Alexa's farm is not like picturing symmetrical rows of coffee trees in plowed soil, but rather like stepping into a vibrant forest amidst the rugged terrain in the highlands in Nicaragua. Imagine steep hills adorned with tall, majestic trees, some in full bloom with bright orange blossoms that stand out against the deep blue sky. Amidst the dense foliage, Alexa’s modest house is perched at the end of a long and winding dirt road. From her porch, one can look out far across the landscape and see the Honduran border shimmering faintly in the distant hills, less than a few miles away. 


Alexa's farm is one of countless smallholder farms where more than half of the world’s coffee beans are grown. Only a handful of acres in size, the farm is a vibrant ecosystem teeming with life, farmed by a family which is in turn sustained by it. Towering trees provide shade for delicate Arabica beans, while medium-sized trees yield an abundance of bananas, tangerines, and other citrus fruits. Nestled beneath this canopy of greenery and shade grow the precious coffee trees with their dark green, glossy leaves. The not very tall and modest looking plants grow amidst this symphony of nature, where their fragrant white blossoms are pollinated and ripen first into green and then into bright red coffee cherries.

Despite the challenges posed by climate change and the ever-shifting landscape of agriculture, Alexa remains steadfast in her commitment to the land. Born into a time when land ownership was dominated by men, Alexa has witnessed firsthand the evolution of her community. While being farmed by women for generations, it wasn’t until the agricultural reforms of the late 1980s when new opportunities for women like her emerged to also own land and forge their own path in the world of coffee farming.

Equally empowered, Alexa is a proud member and gender equity leader of Prodecoop, a coffee cooperative comprising over 3,200 smallholder farmers in Northern Nicaragua. She brings her green beans to the cooperative’s compound in Palacaguina near Esteli, where they are meticulously dried and prepared for export, a testament to the collective efforts of a community taking pride in producing some of the best coffee in the world. 

Recently, a group of Pachamama employees had the privilege of visiting Prodecoop to meet some of their employers, the farmer owners of Pachamama Coffee. Amidst cupping and blind tasting twelve varieties of newly harvested regional crops, one coffee stood out above the rest— it was Alexa's. With its balanced flavor profile, citrus notes, and deep chocolatey finish, the coffee is a testament to Alexa's skill and dedication as a farmer. And while she reserves some of her beans for her own consumption at the farm, the majority will make their way to Pachamama Coffee here in the US, where they will be roasted to perfection for coffee enthusiasts to enjoy.


In every cup of Alexa's coffee, there is a story—a story of tradition, resilience, and the unbreakable bond between farmer and land. As we savor each sip, we are reminded of the hands that tended to the soil, the care that nurtured the trees, and the journey that brought this exceptional coffee from Alexa's farm to your mug.


Shop Coffee From Alexa's Cooperative 

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