Panama Hortigal Estate Coffee Boquete, Panama
Panama Hortigal was established in 1920 when Domingo Suarez immigrated from Israel with many people from other countries after being contracted by French investors to start the first attempt on the Panama Canal in 1890 that would stretch from the Caribbean to the Pacific.
In 1920 after the failed attempt by the French to build the Panama canal Domingo decided to move to Boquete where he heard about the natural beauty of the area from a North American Expedition passing through the area. Here he decided that Boquete would be the place to start a new life.
Once in Boquete, Domingo meets Doña Antonia Serrano, of Spanish origin and has several children: Eliseo, Delia, Amado, Juanita, Venancio y Vidal. Around 1920 coffee farming becomes a normal economic activity and Domingo starts a family business in the Alto Quiel area. The coffee produced in that region was already known to be of a very high quality, and was sold in the national market.
The family business was managed by the children after Domingo and Antonia’s passing, and the youngest Vidal Suarez and his spouse Eira Gutierrez separate their activities and purchase other properties. They in turn had six children and initiated what today is a successful 270 hectares plantation located on the best micro-climate areas of Boquete.
Barú Indian High Brand
Around 1987 Vidal Suarez purchases a property to build a Beneficio processing plant and recuperates the farm’s cup identity for his plantation with a 2500 quintals of green coffee per year. At that time the administrative organization of Videira e Hijos already existed, and was composed of five coffee producer businesses. The Beneficio is built in the Dolega district and another business is created, Beneficios de Café de Boquete SA, which processes and exports cherry coffee from the producing farms. This new business also has a new partner, Ernesto Perez Balladares and spouse – who owns the Anselmito farm located in Jaramillo, Boquete.
This new business initiates the exporting activities in 1989. The brand Baru Indian High is born, registered in Panama and USA. The management of the farms is shared between Norberto, Domingo and Carlos Ivan Suarez. Norberto also manages the administration of the Beneficio and the General Management of the business group.
The brothers, sharing the love for the coffee business passed on from their parents and with their commitment to hard work, maintain the family business and have become one of the largest coffee producers in Boquete and region, producing over 7000 quintals of green coffee per year, this being a high quality product thanks to the location of the farms, the attention to detail during the processing and the final preparation of the coffee before the export.
Hortigal is one of 7 farms that are under the umbrella of the Baru’ Indian High Brand.
This estate started being harvested with the Tipica variety, adding small areas of Caturra and more recently Geisha. The soil is very rich in organic matter and nutrients and the estate is delimited by 2 streams to the east and west that originate in the Central System but also has another two wellsprings year round that originate from within. It also contains wildlife typical from the area.