How can I begin to write this story?
I like to write in such a way that every word can make you live that moment. At the time of making my fingers stand at the keyboard, I realize how marvelous the Lord is. Once again, being as undeserving as I am, he displays His love in ways that are beyond my comprehension. Maybe this is going to be a long story, but believe me, it is worth reading all the way through to the end. You are definitely going to enjoy every word, accompanied by some beautiful images that will serve you as a letter of invitation to the place we visited. This time around, I want to speak to you about what we experienced on this past weekend of July 7 of 2018.
Since my husband and I celebrate in the month of July our wedding anniversary, we wanted to do
something special, and while we were planning what we would do this year, we came to the perfect conclusion, Hacienda La Mocha was our top choice.
As coffee lovers and enthusiasts, we have followed Hacienda La Mocha from its beginnings and we have been keeping an eye out for the details they’ve shared. On the day of their “soft opening”, we were not able to attend because of prior commitments, so we decided to leave our visit for another time, to celebrate something special to us, and that was to celebrate our love.
We decided to do it a week in advance in order to have this story ready for our official anniversary, July 12.
We were very happy to be able to make our reservation a month prior to the date we were planning to make our visit. We were beyond excited for the day to come in which we would be able to see with our own eyes what had been only a small taste we had seen through social media. During our waiting time, I had the marvelous surprise of discovering that behind what is currently Hacienda La Mocha, there is a beautiful family that serves the Lord, that we are brothers and sisters in Christ, and that our local churches are sister churches, one in Ponce and the other in San Juan. Coming to know this caused me great joy. I can’t describe what I was feeling, but I was very anxious to be able to meet them in person. The day before our arrival, we called the place and were answered by Rigoberto. Wow! We were pleasantly surprised with the dedication, courtesy, and service communicated in his words while he directed us and gave us directions on how to get to the place.
We made it to Mocha!
After taking the exact route that Rigoberto had not told us, since Google Maps took us through the not- so-friendly route, we got to the hacienda. My friends, my friends that read me...listen closely. NOTHING, but I mean NOTHING of what my eyes had seen through social media of La Mocha had done it any justice to what it is in real life, NOTHING!
From the moment we got there, we were received with a beautiful smile that came from a lady, bright-
eyed, she welcomed us while we settled in, Magda began to tell us a bit about the place, its history, a
history I will be sharing with you shortly, and when she knew we were celebrating our anniversary, she
quickly guided us and took us to our room.
Meet Rigoberto and Magda.
Rigoberto and Magda, Owners of Hacienda La Mocha.
I was still without words, marveled by so much beauty, by every detail, by the dedication that was put into each and every one of them when they were creating the ambiance, by the lovely decoration, that takes you back in time, by the smiles of the staff, by the service. Too many reasons for the way I was feeling in that moment.
Are you enjoying the ride yet?
After resting for a little while, having eaten something, and, of course, having some coffee, we enjoyed taking a tour of the place with Keddie, the administrator at the hacienda. Now let’s talk a bit about the history of La Mocha and who they are today.
Nowadays Hacienda La Mocha works tirelessly in the coffee industry and as an inn in the mountains of Ponce, Puerto Rico. It is one of those hidden treasures like a precious jewel close to the central mountain range or “Cordillera Central” of our island, with amazing views. As an inn, they offer rooms styled in a fusion of 19 th century and contemporary styles, in addition to each to each room being named after a native bird species of Puerto Rico. But around the 19 th century, Hacienda La Mocha was dedicated entirely to cultivating coffee and other products. Because it was so distant to more urban zones, they had their own little school inside the estate in the area of the ruins. At the time that Rigoberto and Magda acquired the estate, they found many things they could restore and use in the preparation of the project they had envisioned.
The primary focus of Hacienda La Mocha, aside from a quality coffee production, is also its processing and packaging in order to continue creating jobs inside the local industry. It is of crucial importance to them to take care of their crops as well as the health of the consumer, which is why they do not use any pesticides or herbicides. Instead, they labor tirelessly so that the coffee fruit is produced, after which they harvest them one by one, machete in hand, and clean the weeds out. During the tour, we were able to appreciate that they conserve a habitat for butterflies, where we could see hundreds of them with their caterpillars. They also now have in their possession top-of-the-line machinery to process the coffee beans in order to take them to the table. Keddie, as the administrator of the estate is already certified in coffee cupping and works with great dedication in order to grow in the industry hand-in-hand with Rigoberto and Marta and best of all, he also is a believer.
As a fun fact, when they were interviewed by a local news paper, they were contacted by the actor Teófilo Torres, who told them he actually had studied at the little school that was at La Mocha and there he took his play “Ahora si que se nos llevó Pateco” (Now Pateco Took Us - English translation for a native quote)
Isn’t this a marvelous story?
After the tour, which went on for over an hour, and being able to appreciate the beautiful views, we enjoyed a night in the cold of the countryside and coffee aromas, chatting with Rigoberto and Magda, we spoke about the faith primarily, about the family and of course, of La Mocha. Afterwards, we got ready for a campfire they had planned for all of the guests that were staying at the inn. We laughed like crazy!
"The Ruins, Hacienda La Mocha"
After such a beautiful night, we woke up to a sight that cannot be put into words, inside the calm of the morning, the delightful cool, I was able to capture some images.
And what about our delicious breakfast?
After our fellowship during breakfast, enjoying my coffee in the room writing about my experience in their reference book, of laughs and conversations between all of us that were staying at the inn for the weekend, we wanted to leave a mark so that it would stay in the memories of La Mocha.
There are many more things I could say about our experience, since it has been unique. We experienced a weekend we will never forget. We met excellent people, but we also take from it a family, because that is what Rigoberto and Magda are to us. We are so very grateful to them for giving their all to make our anniversary celebration one that was unique and unforgettable. Believe me, Lord willing, we will go back soon. We left the place with hugs and even tears of joy and happiness. All the glory be to God for what they are doing for Puerto Rico! We take their names in our hearts; as we look at these images, smiles flash from our faces.