Meet Luis ‘Wicho’ Valdes

In February we spent some time with Luis Valdes (AKA Wicho’) on his beautiful farm, Santa Isabel.  Here is a little Q&A with the man behind this beautiful coffee.

Did you always know you wanted to work in coffee from a young age?

I didn’t know it was gonna be coffee, but I always liked the farm life. I grew up around agriculture, lived in a farm since one year old, and went to study agriculture…the passion for coffee was just developed through the years!

Describe a typical day work for you.

I always get up early and start before 7 am, good breakfast included! We review the different activities for the day and then check on them. During the day I spend a long time in the fields (which is my “outside office”!) And always spend some time behind the desk to plan or review things. At the end of the day, we go through the accomplishments of the day and the plans for the next one. My day never finishes without two Santa Isabel coffees…nothing better to get a good sleep!

Santa Isabel is a very special coffee and is one of our favourite Guatemalans every year. What do you think makes it so unique?

First of all, I’d say is our micro climate …the weather, the long periods of humidity, the rainforests that surround the coffee plantations, the location. Also a good nutrition helps a lot, depending on what the plants are asking for. And finally, in a very small amount, the hard work and passion we put to work the coffees!

Can you explain where your nickname ‘Wicho’ comes from?

Wicho is a common nickname for Luis, in Guatemala. But most of all, I decided to use it because I have the same name as my dad, so my mom was having a difficult time calling us both Luis. Right now we are Luis (my father), Wicho (me) and Wichito (my older son). Not that we don’t have imagination for the names…but we are extending a family tradition! Jajajajaja (laughs)