Palacagüina and Coffee Cooperative
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The town of Palacagüina is best known as the pastoral setting for Carlos Mejía Godoy’s revolutionary religious anthem, “Cristo de Palacagüina,” in which Jesus is born “en el cerro de la iguana, montaña dentro de la Segovia.” In the song, the Christ child’s campesino parents, Jose and María, are dismayed when, instead of becoming a carpenter like his father, he wants to be a guerrilla fighter.
One of Nicaragua’s largest fair trade coffee cooperatives, PRODECOOP is comprised of 2,000 coffee-growing families; they export as many as 30,000 quintales (100-pound bags) a year. PRODECOOP can house and feed up to six guests in brand-new accommodations atop the cupping lab overlooking the drying beds, which bustle with activity during the harvest. There is also a swimming pool and a 360-degree view of the surrounding hills.
For reservations, contact their office in Estelí (75 meters west of la esquina de los bancos, tel. 505/2713-3268, www.prodecoop.com). The coffee compound is between Palacagüina and the northern exit to the highway.
Getting to Palacagüina
Most ordinario buses (not expresos) traveling between Estelí and Somoto or Ocotal pass through Palacagüina. If you take an expreso, the walk from the highway into town will be long and dusty, but there are usually taxis waiting for just a few córdobas.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition