Geography of Coffee -- Coffee Brewing and Preparation
Geography of Coffee
Matagalpa Study Tour -- 2013
James Hayes-Bohanan , Ph.D.
Bridgewater State College Geography
UPDATED December 6, 2012

I have expanded this site's information about coffee shops, coffee roasters, coffee tours, health effects, and coffee preparation, and have moved that information to other pages. You can continue the exploration at my main coffee page.

This page is about my January 4--16, 2013 study tour in León, Jinotega, Matagalpa, and Granada. See my Coffee-Nicaragua page for stories, insights, and photographs from the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 study tours.
Cafezinho - Brazil
Cafezinho in Florianópolis
The Coffeeland Landmine Victims' Trust connects the coffee industry to landmine victims throughout the coffee-growing areas of the world. Unfortunately, this includes the Contra War area of Nicaragua. This year the journey takes us back to Ben Linder's grave in Matagalpa, but also to the Ben Linder café in León, which was established with the help of Deans Beans. Operating now primarily as a roaster, it honors the martyred North American engineer while helping farmers and victims of land mines.

The cafe was the inspiration for the proposed Ben Linder Cafe for BSU. The University Trustees have declined the proposal, but members of the community continue to advocate for the Cafe and its ideals.
Matagalpa Tours -- To
                    know the unexplored of northern Nicaragua
"To know the unexplored of northern Nicaragua"

Every BSU Nicaragua tour since 2009 has used the excellent services of Matagalpa Tours. From office staff to field guides and local experts, this company provides reliable, expert guidance in every kind of setting.


(Not yet available; to be updated as time and internet connections allow)
(Or see all coffee-related posts on the blog.)
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Tour Overview
Nicaragua Coffee Map

Most places on this year's tour were also part of the 2012 study tour, with a few additions. Full itinerary includes BSU class time and other details.

NOTE: Throughout the tour, internet and phone service are often not available to group members.

Friday, January 4: Arrival in Managua

Travel to Matagalpa

Saturday, January 5: Matagalpa
Castillo del Cacao (Chocolate Castle!)
Lecture at CECOCAFEN Office
City tour, including Ben Linder grave site

Sunday, January 6: Matagalpa
El Chile community (weaving, food, panoramic vista)
Travel to Selva Negra

Monday, January 7: Selva Negra
Tour Selva Negra estate
Hike/climb Arenal cloud forest reserve
Lunch and tour of Corrales family farm

Tuesday, January 8: El Cua
Small-scale hydroelectric projects
La Pavona waterfall hike/climb

Wednesday, January 9: Rancho Grande
Tour and lunch with cacao cooperative

Thursday, January 10: La Corona
Waterfall visit
Arrival in La Corona for homestays

Friday, January 11: La Corona
Work in coffee harvest
La Corona waterfall
Prepare nacatamales
Local games, music, and dance

Saturday, January 12: León
Meet with ATC union to learn about the 1999 coffee crisis and strike
Visit Sol Cafe dry mill (cupping and purchase coffee)
Fabulous dinner in León

Sunday, January 13: León
La Isla Foundation -- sugar cane workers
Peñitas beach

Monday, January 14: León
Polus Center: Walking Unidos prosthetic clinic
PLUSAA wheel chair factory
Coffee geology and mild adventure at the Cerro Negro volcano

Tuesday, January 15: Granada
Masaya Volcano
Masaya market (gifties)
Relaxation at Hotel con Corazon

Wednesday, January 16: Granada
City, lake, and island tour
Departure to Managua

Thursday, January 17:
Lecture at Casa Ben Linder
Departure via American Airlines

              Statues -- 2009

Photo from 2009, downtown Matagalpa: Part of the curriculum of this study tour is understanding the complex relationships among land, power, coffee, and politics. The three figures in the foreground represent the men and women of the Sandinista Revolution of the 1970s (and its defense in the 1980s). The shadow in the background represents Sandino, a revolutionary figure from a much earlier time.

Photo from 2010, Jinotega: Byron Corrales is the Poet of Coffee, whose care of the soil has won him the world-wide Cup of Excellence. With his wonderful children, he carries a tradition of caring for coffee to a third generation. His explanation of organic farming is the highlight of our tour.

Byron's daughter Sara shared this video, in which one of Byron's importers introduces customers to this most amazing farmer.

More photos will be added as time allows, and updates of what we learn from our adventures will be posted on the
Environmental Geography blog.

For those needing flight information:

1 AA 801V 04JAN F BOSMIA HK12  640A 1015A /DCAA*FUAHSA /E

2 AA 919V 04JAN F MIAMGA HK12 1245P  220P /DCAA*FUAHSA /E

3 AA 970V 17JAN Q MGAMIA HK12  130P  505P /DCAA*FUAHSA /E

4 AA1812V 17JAN Q MIABOS HK12  710P 1015P /DCAA*FUAHSA /E

Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan
Geography and Coffee Maven-- Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, Massachusetts USA / EEUU / EUA