Coffee Farmers and Waterfalls
About 2 hours of bus away from Xela is the coffee finca Santa Anita la unión. After a chicken bus ride to Colomba and a Pick Up to Santa Anita we arrived at the coffee finca Santa Anita. Even though we didn’t make any reservations we were warmly welcomed by the wife of the tourism coordinator who immediately offered us a bed and dinner. We brought a tent to sleep in but happily accepted the dinner invitation. As the coordinator was out working in the coffee fields and couldn’t take us on a tour we decided to explore the area a bit on our own. Definetly the right decision even though we could have easily just stayed at the family’s house to chat with them as we had already become friends with their puppy dog and daughter.
Starting our hike we noticed quickly how much warmer and more humid it was here even though we were only 60 km out of Xela. Thanks to the warm and humid climate the nature around the finca is stunning. Everything is covered in a bright green with an endless variety of flowers and fruits. Apart from the coffee plants which still had only green coffee beans at this time the finca also grows bananas which we could see everywhere we looked. The stunning vegetation was still topped by a beautiful view on endless mountains and for once their was no trash anywhere!
After coming back to the community we finally met the husband of the lady we had talked to in the beginning and got some very interesting insights into the history of Santa Anita. The finca was founded 19 years ago after the civil war had ended. All of its members are families of ex –guerrilleros who where given the finca after the peace contract was signed. The director told us about his military training in Cuba and how they lived in the mountains for years hiding from the military. Hearing all this details about the background of the people of the finca made the place even more fascinating and magic.
We set up our tent on a beautiful patio surrounded by banana trees and green houses of baby coffee plants. After a simple but filling dinner that surprisingly didnt include beans and rice and a night in the tent we woke up to see some waterfalls in the morning. The director, his daughter and the puppy dog walked us to the falls that where simply magic: fresh water from the mountains that falls down into a cool pool surrounded by the beauty of all kinds of plants and flowers.
After coming back to have another good meal and buy some coffee and honey that is also produced by one of the farmers we said goodbye knowing that we would be back. Santa Anita is a great place for a day or weekend trip full of beautiful nature, amazing people and a lot of Guatemalan history.