La Bolsa – a Solberg & Hansen Christmas tradition

La Bolsa – a Solberg & Hansen Christmas tradition

By purchasing this year’s Christmas coffee, you can enjoy an exceptionally good coffee and contribute to a better life for the children at La Bolsa.

At La Bolsa in Guatemala, they cultivate premium coffee, take care of their workers, and support various local initiatives in the community. We are proud of our collaboration with the Vides family and the La Bolsa farm, and delighted to offer Christmas coffee from La Bolsa for the eighth year in a row. From the sales of the Christmas coffee, we annually make a donation to the coffee farm to be used for different projects that improve the lives of the children in the community.

Our Christmas coffee from La Bolsa has now become a tradition and is our most important «Omtanke» (translates to care in English) project.

Surrounded by green mountains

The La Bolsa coffee farm was founded by Dr. Jorges Vides, a doctor who dreamt of becoming a coffee farmer. In 1958, his dream became a reality when he planted his first coffee trees on the farm.

«My father lived and worked his whole life as a doctor here in Huehuetenango. In 1956, he followed his dream and bought this farm» says Maria Elena Vides, who now manages La Bolsa together with her son Renardo Ovalle.

La Bolsa is situated at the end of a narrow valley surrounded by steep mountainsides in the Huehuetenango region. It is lush and green as far as the eye can see, and the climate offers ideal conditions for cultivating top-quality coffee.

«In 1958, my grandfather planted the first coffee trees here at La Bolsa. The first harvest was no more than 50 kilos of coffee beans. At that time, there was hardly any coffee production in the area, and nobody had any idea of the fantastic potential Huehuetenango had as a coffee region» Renardo explains.

Doctor, coffee farmer, and devotee

Dr. Vides was a socially engaged man who was well-known in the local community and respected for his work.

«Today, the regional hospital is named after him» says his daughter Maria.

For many years, he worked simultaneously as a doctor and a coffee farmer, with dedication to both tasks. The coffee was grown with precision and passion for the raw material, and over the years, many skilled and loyal workers were employed.

He initiated several social measures to ensure good conditions for the workers and improve the lives of the people in the local community, including starting an elementary school in 1980.

Dr. Jorges Vides laid a solid foundation for La Bolsa. When he passed away in 1995, his daughter and grandson took over the farm's operation and continued in his spirit. Today, La Bolsa is an award-winning coffee farm that, with dedicated and targeted work, delivers coffee beans of very high quality.

«In 2001, my mother and I, as the third generation on this farm, started growing and processing coffee just as my grandfather did. The following year, we participated in the Cup of Excellence and came in second place. This was a tremendous motivation for us and allowed us to establish direct relationships with international coffee roasters and develop new ways to produce the best possible coffee» says Renardo, the grandson.

Direct trade and long-lasting relationships

Just as with La Bolsa, direct relationships are central to Solberg & Hansen. Direct trade is one of our most important tasks and applies to all our coffee purchases because we want to contribute to ensuring that the coffee we buy, and you enjoy, leaves a positive impact.

«We now understand that, in addition to producing high-quality coffee, the most important thing is to establish long-lasting relationships with our partners» says Renardo.

It has been over ten years since Solberg & Hansen purchased coffee from La Bolsa for the first time. They have consistently delivered high-quality year after year, being innovative and dedicated to the art of coffee, and making a difference with their social projects. Many of the workers have been there for decades and attest to it being a good place to work.

«Behind every cup of coffee made from the coffee we produce, there is the work of a group of enthusiastic people who are passionate about their work. That is why we continue to seek the best possible cup of coffee that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world» Renardo concludes.

With care in every coffee cup

With donations from coffee sales from 2017 to 2021, La Bolsa has, among other things, built a playground outside the school, provided new school materials, and offered all the children a daily nutritious meal. Since La Bolsa's own elementary school is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, the donations from the 2022 Christmas coffee have gone to several elementary schools in the area, including El Zacatonal, La Barranca, and Boqueroncito. La Bolsa has contributed with teaching materials, furniture, and paint.

This year's donation will go towards further projects that make the school days of the children at the different elementary schools even better. In addition, some of the donation is used for a scholarship for a two-year bachelor's degree in 'Science and Letters with Productivity and Entrepreneurship, with a Diploma in Coffee Culture'. In 2023, Octavio Adalberto has been awarded this scholarship.

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