Costa Rica Coffee Farm
For the past few years I’ve dreamed of going to a family run coffee farm to take photojournalist photos. This means staying on the farm for a few days and just shooting people going about their daily business, without any set shots, and it also means I am there for enough time for people to let their guard down. Last month I finally got to live this dream and shoot this personal project of mine.
Costa Rica is known for its coffee, considered to be some of the best in the world. The environment is perfectly conducive to the growth and production of coffee beans – it gets just the right amount of sun and rain.
During harvest the coffee fruit must be picked by hand, as some fruit on a stem will be ripe and others not. This means each plant needs to be revisited every few days or so to keep harvesting the ripe fruit before they get to mature. After the beans are picked, they are then put through a wash to remove the outer pulp, oils, and husk. Once all the husk and pulp is removed the beans need to be dried either with the help of a machine, or on small farms, the beans are laid out in the sun to to dry. After this the the beans are sorted according to size.
At a lot of the smaller coffee farms, the workers are part of the family, with children helping out when they get home from school.
The Coffee Plantation in Costa Rica that I visited was called Las Dueñas Coffee farm. Las Dueñas coffee farm is located in the Southern-Central part of Costa Rica, on the slopes of the volcanic Talamanca mountain range. At an altitude of 1250 meters (4101 feet), they are cultivating some of the best quality Costa Rican coffee. The owners of the farm are three Portuguese women who decided to leave the office world and live life on a coffee farm. It helps that two of them grew up on coffee farms in Angola and they know all the ins and outs of coffee production. I choose my personal photography projects based on organizations that are making a positive impact on the environment or the community in which they are based. Las Dueñas is actively involved in improving the environmental awareness in the farming community, as well as very much involved in the lives and well being of the workers on their farm.