© 2013 Hanna Muegge

El Carmen Estate

For our first weekend’s last large trip we visited the El Carmen Estate Café finca. It is a large coffee farm with an adventure park attached for tourists. First we were given a history lesson on what coffee was all about. In El Salvador the first coffee plants were cultivated by indigenous people in the western area of the country around 1750. As coffee gained considerable public favor it also gained more value on the international markets. Since many of us today can’t function without a cup or two of warm coffee, it was only fitting to visit the El Carmen mill right around the corner from our hostel in Ataco. This mill was founded in 1930 by Don Agustin Alfaro Morán. He imported the business’s equipment from all over the world (England, Scotland, and the US) and began its business in 1932. What we saw and learned on our tour of the coffee farm was, that the farm processes coffee not only produced by the farm but also from other farmers in the area. We even had an opportunity to mix the drying coffee beans. At the end of the tour, our guide served us freshly brewed coffee—the taste was very different from what I was used to from the coffee served in the US.

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