Brewing up tourism opportunities
Content submitted by – Lili
Submited Date : 28/06/2018
Juan Melendez with his wife Naomi and their three daugthers, Hacienda Tres Angeles, Puerto Rico

My name is Juan Melendez, and this is my story… I am married to Naomi Gomez, and we have three girls: Mary, Angelica and Victoria. We come from the village of Gurráo, but we originally are from Cauas, and are currently residing here at Adjunta, Puerto Rico. We work in the coffee industry. Apart from the coffee we are also offering tours on our farm, we have a visitor center and we have a coffee shop. Our project is called Hacienda Tres Angeles. The name comes from our three daughters - Maria de los Angeles, Angelica Noemi and Victoria de los Angeles. We produce premium coffee, especially the Caturra variety. We actually used to work in the air conditioning industry. But once, while we were having a cup of coffee in the neighboring village of Ayuya, we saw a bag of ripe coffee. It was so precious that my wife and I considered agriculture as an alternative way of life, with the upcoming economic and food crisis already announced long ago. Coffee was something that inspired us, and we decided to make our lives of it. We came into the coffee industry from the complete unknown. So we dove into the subject: we visited a lot of places, we met some important people, and we researched a lot. When we began farming, we were concerned about how much time it took us. Because we believe we carry out another major work in our lives: God has for us a mandate to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. We do this through our coffee and tourist business. We preach the gospel to tourists from all over and they take back home their holistic experience. Through this tourism project, we have transformed and impacted lives. We are the first agro-tourism company endorsed by the Tourism Company of Puerto Rico. The tourism sector is the main channel of arrival of our clients. The Municipality of Ajunta also sends us many visitors. In fact, we are practically the only agro-tourism experience they recommend to visitors. We have received tourists from all over the world. We reach all parts of the world through the Tourism Company. During the harvest we create up to 85 jobs on top of the jobs created in the process area and in the tourism activities, we have created 100 jobs. Hacienda Tres Angeles offers guided tours. When they arrive here at 9 in the morning, we give them a short introduction in the visitor center. Then we go to the farm and teach them about practices and agricultural economy, the coffee economy, maintenance of coffee plantations, the different varieties of coffee, flora, fauna of the area, about hydrology and geography and secondary areas. Then we go to the visitors´ center, where we show them the coffee making process. Then visitors come to the coffee shop where we teach them the roasting process, which consists of the toasting and tasting. We offer different grains, different roasts, all of exquisite quality. The tour ends there, and many people decide to stay longer; have lunch, or spend the afternoon at Hacienda. Coffee fascinates me. The process is an extreme sport, many workers processing the coffee earn up to 25 pounds in a harvest. It is a very physical job. It sometimes takes up to 22 hours and workers start working the next day at 6 am again. This work keeps you fit, healthy. You also get to meet a lot of people in the tourism sector. We try to have an impact on people’s lives, and motivate them. It is great to see our workers finishing their days satisfied. We put love and dedication in everything we do here, from the agricultural part to the tourism part. We are all involved in this, giving our best to Puerto Rico.