Farm and Family Background
Finca El Alto de la Cruz, the coffee farm, the family house, and food prodcution is a tuly a collaborative effort by the Clavijo family and friends, with two women in charge of the coffee production, Nelcy and Negrita. The Clavijos are from the city of Armenia, about six hours north, but were among the first mestizos (non-indigenous) to come to the then frontierland with coffee seeds when Nelcy was a child. They have been producing coffee as a family and, though there have been ups and downs over the years, they have been enjoying a wholesome life in these breathtaking mountains.
Gaitania is famous among Colombians for being the birthplace of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). Gaitania is extremely remote, several hours and geographically separated from the nearest city. The region is pristine and the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful and unique to other regions of Colombia, with steep, sharp mountain peaks in the shadow of the Nevado del Huila, the perpetually snow-capped volcano that gives Gaitania fertile, volcanic soil.
Due in part to its isolation, the area has been at times a stronghold of the FARC and other insurgent and/or drug trafficking groups, and often a point of contention between opposing armed forces with local residents caught in the middle. The newly-found fame of specialty coffee in the region is providing a much-needed economic stimulus, improving the quality of life, and providing an alternative to joining insurgent or criminal groups.