Farm info

Merlin Escalon is a member of Cafesmo, a 280+ member co-op located in the south of Honduras near the country’s borders with Guatemala and El Salvador. This organization was established formally in 2016 and began exporting specialty coffee in 2018. CAFESMO members are committed to improvement and quality, which is supported by the co-op through workshops for new and existing producers to help them learn about their harvest, post-harvest processing, choosing the right varieties for their farm, and more.

“Most of my family works at Cafesmo! My dad oversees drying coffees, and my mom takes care of the nursery where they grow new seedlings for coffee trees, my brother Maynor rides his motorbike all over the region to visit Cafesmo farmer members. He studied agronomy in high school and now gives advice to help farmers avoid plagues and diseases and get them certified with organic and fair trade and other labels. My sister Yaimi is the assistant of our Q-grader at the lab”.

Merlin oversees the harvest season, so his role is fundamental: “I work with the founder of Cafesmo, Hidardo, and his mom at their farm. I have been doing that for four years now and I have grown a lot in responsibilities since I first started. I oversee the drying of all the microlots and make sure that each lot is dried until it is ready for storage and milling, this is the most important aspect of my job as the quality of each coffee of course in large part depends on how consistently and carefully it is dried. Hidardo helps me a lot and supervises the entire operation, but I have learned so much, working alongside him.”

Merlin and his family decided to invest in their own field to grow coffee, as they are very passionate about it: “My family decided to start growing coffee on our own plot. Together, we have knowledge of all aspects of coffee cultivation from how to care for a seedling to growing one or two high-quality batches each year, we can diversify and increase our income, and build a better future together.”

The location of Finca La Mora is strategic and resilient against climate change. It is 1,450 meters above sea level, which is high enough to avoid heat, yet not so high that it can become too cold at night during the winter months. Their coffee plants are also in the middle of a pine forest amidst the trees, which provide shadow, nutrients, and a stable soil that isn’t prone to erosion.

The Honey process of this Pacas variety begins with washing and harvesting, eliminating any foreign matter. Classification separates coffee by density, removing those that float or weigh less before it is pulped. Next, the coffee is dried on raised beds or sieves for 10 to 15 days until reaching 11 to 12% humidity.



The Ocotepeque region is in the westernmost part of Honduras on the borders of Guatemala and El Salvador. The department is home to more than 110,000 people, many of whom work in agriculture producing several crops including coffee, corn, cabbage, sugar cane, and onions.

Ocotepeque contains many natural features like the Cerro Pital Mountain, the Güisayote National Reserve, and the Pacayita volcano, creating diverse microclimates conducive to coffee production as well as a variety of habitats for flora and fauna. The area also has rich, fertile soil, and elevations ranging from 950–2000 meters, making it an ideal region for coffee production.