Jose Virgilio Ramirez – Vega Coffee
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Jose Virgilio Ramirez

Meet José Virgilio Ramírez: Family man, community baseball coach, and third generation coffee producer.

Coffee is essential to my family. It runs in my blood, and it is part of my heritage.

My grandfather was one of the first in the region to produce coffee. We are from San Lucas, in the department of Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua. This is where I grew up, in a world surrounded by coffee.

Even as a child, I always loved everything about the coffee process. I could spend hours watching my grandmother and the workers. I admired their dedication. They were the ones who showed me how much effort it takes to produce quality coffee.

Back then, my grandparents used to grow coffee the traditional way. Nowadays, we have access to new technology. We have also learned better methods. This helps us grow and harvest higher quality beans.  

José wakes up at dawn every morning to work in the fields. He ends his day at six, when he heads home to relax and spend time with his family.

“There is a beautiful creek that runs across my farm. We have a lovely garden and electricity, too. We have worked hard and put a lot of effort into our farm, and it shows”

I feel grateful to work the fields with the help of my four children and my wife. We are a close-knit family and I recently became a grandparent. The thought of my granddaughter growing up the way I did and keeping our family’s coffee tradition fills me with pride.

José and his wife, Ermelinda, cannot wait to teach their granddaughter everything they know about growing quality coffee.

“My grandmother used to tell stories of pulping coffee by hand, over a grinding stone. Later on, they bought equipment and grew to the point where their nine children could inherit the business.”

Caption: A lot has changed since José inherited the farm from his grandmother. But the family’s work ethic and their love for coffee stays the same.

“Our coffee is special because of our sustainable processes. We implement everything that we learn at the field schools, to give our land the best possible maintenance and practice responsible farming methods.”

My fondest memory of coffee is when I had my first harvest. With the money I earned, I started to build our family home. And ever since then, coffee has always been there to keep improving the quality of our lives.

All that my wife and I want is to leave our children with a roof over their heads and a place where they can live in peace. We have come a long way, but we continue to set realistic goals for ourselves.

José and his family are proud of their home. They work hard to keep their garden healthy and beautiful.

Through a local organization, I recently learned how to raise chickens. On top of coffee, one of my sons also helps me grow corn. These two ventures have been very rewarding for us.

But because I work so hard, I also make mental health a priority. I find time for myself, to do the things I love. On the weekends, I coach a community baseball team. I am very passionate about this sport and spending time with my team helps me relax.

I feel inspired by hard-working people who motivate me to plant new seeds, cultivate our lands, and grow healthy crops. When I visit someone else’s parcel, I always look for innovative ideas that inspire me. 

To me, our cooperative is like a family. Together, we face challenges and help each other out with our projects. They encourage me to continue improving and learning new techniques. And it is thanks to my hard work that I can now share this fine coffee with Vega clients.

“If I could sit down and have a cup of coffee with anyone, I would choose a world-class coffee expert. I think they would have a lot to teach me about the wonderful world of coffee.”

On rainy days, José loves to sit on the porch and enjoy a warm cup of coffee.

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