In the northwest of Nicaragua, the cool mountains of Matagalpa and Jinotega are situated where cloud forests blend with mixed plantations. One of these plantations has been owned by the Rizo family for over 200 years. In total, they own 400 hectares dedicated to specialized cultivation.
In 2013, half of their trees, mainly the Caturra variety, were severely affected by the destructive fungus called "roya". As part of an ambitious renovation process, the farm replanted 200 hectares with the roya-resilient varieties of Castilla, Parainema, and Marsellesa. This contributes to a healthy setup of the entire farm since half of the trees are still young. The Rizo family aims to approach cultivation in a holistic manner. The 200 hectares of forest ensure all coffee trees are shade-grown. Their reforestation efforts focus on protecting wildlife as well as water sources.
About 250 employees work full-time at Potrerillos, and during the harvest season, this number goes up to 1,000 people. Most of them also live in the farming area, with Potrerillos providing infrastructures like housing, meals, and a basic clinic. Education is one of the pillars the family strongly believes in: one of the farming areas is solely dedicated to education. Over 180 students attend classes ranging from pre-kindergarten to secondary education. There are additional learning facilities to earn a technical degree in agricultural management. The fully-equipped school programs are free for children living on the farm and for those from neighboring communities.