Organic Coffee in Nicaragua

A boy in Nicaragua picking coffee - photos by Matthew Kadey

Matthew Kadey has written a new article at GoNOMAD about visiting an organic coffee plantation in Nicaragua. Kadey writes about the people there and the interesting aspects of the organic plantation. Here’s a selection from the article.

A dilapidated mountain road leads to La Carona, a fair trade community set among romantic views of flourishing coffee-draped mountains leaping upward to grab hold of the cerulean sky.

The bus is filled with a dozen or so boisterous students from Massachusetts Bridgewater State College guided by James Hayes-Bohanan, a burley bearded mild-mannered geography professor who, for the last couple of Januarys, has brought his students to Nicaragua’s northern fringes to learn about the positive impacts of trading equitably.

“They may not know it now, but by the end of this trip these guys will have a much greater appreciation for where their morning cup o’ joe comes from,” James yelps as a thundering drop into a doozer of a pothole sends our noodles disturbingly close to the roof.

Happy to have two feet firmly placed on the ground, La Carona initially strikes me as a hodgepodge of activity. Wide-eyed kids scamper about, a group of women are busy preparing our mid-day repast and in the background a stalwart man stands atop a foliated hill manually de-pulping freshly harvested coffee cherries. The unsullied air has become malodorous with their aroma.

As I snap a few photos of a seasoned farmer and his dignified cowboy hat, it’s clear he is embarrassed to be the subject of my fuss.

But there’s little time for photography or to even catch my bearings as our community guide Alfredo Rayo promptly whisks us into the coffee fields. The weather is looking bad as rain spits from lowering clouds. Alfredo is a twenty-something seemingly ubiquitous svelte Nicaraguan youth who is among a growing number of men in his age bracket who are being trained to foster tourists’ understanding of organic fair trade coffee farming.

You can read the rest of the article at