Much like Copalli Rum, Copal Tree Farm is dedicated to developing lasting economic stability in Southern Belize through agriculture. Sugar cane, cacao, and coffee are grown for commercial purposes while the extensive vegetable gardens, tropical fruit trees, and livestock provide the majority of the food served to guests at the Copal Tree Lodge. Overseeing this vital operation since the beginning of 2022 is General Manager Lester Muralles.
Tell us about your responsibilities…
It’s my job to plan farming activities along with upper management. This means I coordinate and execute organic certified and natural farming activities with the aid of my farm team. We are responsible for sugarcane production, harvesting and delivery to the Distillery; Cacao production, harvesting, processing and storage; Vanilla production, harvesting, curing and storage; We also manage organic vegetable garden and livestock operation to provide food for the Copal Tree Lodge.
What is your background?
I’m an Agronomist by trade and prior to joining CTF, I was the Farm Manager at the University of Belize.
What attracted you to Copal Tree Farm?
The organic farming activities and the natural ways of production. We’re not only producing quality food and protecting the land, but we’re also making a difference in the local community.
Why Is sustainability important?
Sustainability is vital for the survival of all plant and animal species. We need to learn how to produce in a sustainable way to guarantee the long term use of the natural resources. For centuries we (humans) have use the soil and the land to produce in an unsustainable way that if we continue that trend then we won’t be able to survive. Now we need to rebuild our soils and natural resources.
What should people know about the rainforest?
The rainforest is essential for the survival of living organisms on this earth. Tropical rainforests are responsible for most of the rain capture and the filtration of that water to the aquifers, which provide drinking water. Rainforest also host most of the natural resources that we use for our day to day survival. At Copal Tree we are producers and protectors of the natural resources.
What does the future hold for Copal Tree Farm?
Many new and exciting plans are in the works. There are many things to explore and many to finalize. One or two new trails for guest to tour and to enjoy while visiting (tropical fruits and medicinal plant trails) are in the planning stages and other possible activities are under considerations. Some surprises!