Finca Panda

HISTORY:

In 1982, a family of Panamanian and Danish decent, the Slots family, purchased the land and started planting caturra coffee plants.   Before that time, not much is known of what the land was used for but it is speculated that it was producing and processing sugar cane as antique wood has been found around the farm with markings and iron rings common in rudimentary sugar cane processing.   The farm was sold to Mrs. Slots’ brother, Enrique Jaramillo Saraceni and his wife, Ana Margarita de la Guardia (Panamanians) in 1994.  When Enrique and Ana bought the farm they planted more varieties of coffee alongside fruit and citrus trees.  In 2019, Suzanne and David Smith purchased Finca Panda from Enrique and Ana.

Current ownership and vision:

Suzanne and David Smith began their journey in Panama in the islands of Bocas del Toro.  In 2013, they moved from Detroit, Michigan to operate an established eco lodge on Isla Bastimentos (Casa Cayuco Eco Adventure Lodge).  In 2015, they had a daughter, Mina Rose.  After six years of building a unique customer base in Bocas del Toro, Suzanne and David felt a draw to Boquete to develop an agrotourism business based on Panama’s most special export – coffee.  In early 2018, they started looking for land with prime conditions for coffee and mountain views to create a small boutique hotel.  The goal is to eventually host discerning coffee enthusiasts and environmentally conscience travelers. The hotel is being built by Orlando Barria (Panamanian), a self-taught carpenter who worked with Suzanne and David at their eco lodge on Isla Bastimentos. Orlando, his family, and a team of employees from Boquete live on site, building the casitas and developing a healthy coffee farm.    Originally, the coffee operation was intended to enhance the (future) guest experience, however, it has become a quick passion and Suzanne and David are looking to bring the coffee to the next level.  We harvest, process and roast on site in small batches.

The Farm:

Finca Panda is a small, nine hectare, boutique farm at 4,900-5,150 ft altitude in Volcancito Arriba, Boquete.  Our mature, producing trees are a mix of caturra, catuai and a small amount of geisha.  In 2020, we have started planting more geisha and pacamara. On site, we are processing our own coffee with natural, washed and honey processes.

 

www.fincapanda.com

Instagram: @fincapanda

Facebook: @fincapanda