Luis Silva, his brother Rafael and Rafael’s wife Carmen are fourth generation coffee farmers. They took over Finca La Fany from Luis and Rafael’s aunt some twelve years ago. This family-run farm has been producing coffee since 1870 and has since been passed from generation to generation. The name ‘La Fany’ is believed to come from the name of a woman baptized back in 1870 by ancestors of the Silva family, General Fabio Morán and Etifanio Silva.
La Fany sits at around 1400 metres in the windswept Apaneca Ilamatepec mountains. All 27 hectares of the farm are planted out with Bourbon varietal coffee trees. These are sheltered from the sun and wind by numerous native trees, which support a huge population of indigenous birds.
The Silvas are committed to protecting their local environment and have accumulated a vast collection of earthworms, which they use to produce completely organic fertilizer from the leftover coffee pulp. Their coffee is hand picked, sun-dried and hand selected to guarantee quality, a process which provides work for some 24 local families.
The farm is part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor System that stretches all the way from Mexico down to Panama. When this network of ‘protected highways’ enters El Salvador, it passes through the shade grown coffee regions, which act as a ‘substitute forest’. For this reason, coffee farms in this area play a vital role as a sanctuary for most of the 520 migratory and native bird species found in this part of the world.