Honduras. Martha Lícida Vásquez
Region: Celaque, Lempira, San Sebastian
Varietal: Bourbon, IHCAFÉ 90, Red Catuaí, Yellow Catuaí, Catimor
Altitude: 1750 masl
From San Sebastián, Lempira. She is the eldest of 14 siblings, her father was Pastor Vásquez and her mother is Amelia Melgar, whom were farmers of basic grains.
Her parents sent her several times to school for many years but she always ended up dropping it off and never got to complete the first grade, so they decided she would stay at home to help them with the farm and house duties.
Since very young Martha always had an interest in commerce so she learned to prepare candies, lollipops, other traditional sweets and also learned about sewing and bakery. Once ready, she put all the sweets and bread on a basket that later placed on top of her head and walked all around the village to sell them, until everything was gone.
She got married at 22 with Ángel Benitez, and had 6 children. Right after she got married her brother-in-law told her to go to Guatemala with him to buy merchandise to sell at their town, but at that time, she only had 50.00 lempiras as capital, so she decided to borrow money from one of her brothers. She gathered up in total 700.00 lempiras and left; Once in Guatemala, she bought clothes, blankets, plastic utensils for the home use and lots of other things.
At her return, she sold all the merchandise pretty quickly, being able to pay her brother back and also to make another trip to Guatemala. She kept doing this until her first daughter Jazmin was born, so she stopped going on the trips and decided to partnered up with her brother José and together established the merchandise business in her house.
In 1987 she bought her first plot of land in San Sebastián, encouraged by a producer friend of her that kept telling her it was best to produce coffee rather than only buy it and resell it and since then, Martha acquired more lands little by little and focused on producing coffee for a living.