Antigua, Guatemala and the Beginning of a New Venture

Date September 16, 2019

As you may or may not know, our fearless leader Darron “Don Pablo” Burke does a lot of traveling. In the service of sourcing the best quality specialty grade Arabica coffee, and building and running The Don Pablo Coffee Company, he has so far visited more than 33 countries around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout North, Central, and South America and also Asia and Europe. As he visits these many countries and cultures, Darron has a habit of noticing the efforts of small-business entrepreneurs like himself. He notices when people are doing things well and having success, but he also notices where things can be improved. Sometimes he feels the impulse to make suggestions to the business owners, but in most cases restrains himself. However, out of this impulse was born an idea: What if we did a TV show which documents our travels throughout the world, and in each destination, we find a business with room for improvement and help that business grow with a combination of our expertise, experience and resources? Such a television show would not only afford Darron the opportunity to ‘give back’ for the success of Don Pablo Coffee, but it would also serve as a way to introduce the company to the larger public and to further promote the Don Pablo brand.
It was many years ago when Darron first conceived of and floated this idea. At the time, he had not ventured fully into having the capability to produce such a thing in-house, but that had recently changed. So Darron finally decided to give it a try and film Episode 1 in one of his favorite places in the world, Antigua, Guatemala.

View of Volcán de Agua down 5a Avenida Norte


If you’ve never been to Antigua, it is quite a beautiful city to see.  Most impressive are the 3 massive volcanoes that surround the city and dominate its vistas.  But as you walk the cobblestone streets, you get the distinct impression that you’ve stepped back in time.  Much of the architecture is well-preserved colonial style from the 17th and 18th centuries, but occasionally you’ll come across a random 500-year-old ancient ruin from one of the city’s previous incarnations, before it was destroyed by earthquakes and avalanches.

Iglesia El Carmen Catholic Church


Adding to that feeling of stepping back in time is the sight of native Mayans, often in traditional dress, walking the streets and displaying various hand-crafted textiles and jewelry for sale.  It was a family of these Mayans that had originally captured our interest on a previous trip and seemed like perfect candidates for the first episode of this show.

Claudia and Rosalilia at our first meeting in Antigua.


The origin story goes like this:  As we sat in a pretty awesome little restaurant overlooking 5a Avenida Norte called Casa Troccoli, we were approached by two young ladies at our window who were trying to sell us some of their handicrafts.  As we browsed their selection, Darron asked them a little bit about their business and how it was doing.  They told us it was difficult; that approaching tourists in the streets is not the ideal business model.  They said tourists much prefer to purchase in a store, rather than be pestered on the street.  True enough.  We talked some more and learned their names were Claudia and Rosalilia.  Both wanted to be doctors and were going to school to further that goal.  But in the meantime, they were helping their families survive by selling their textiles in the streets.  So the light bulb illumined over Darron’s head.
Cut to present day.  Meet the subjects of Episode 1 of this, as of yet, untitled series.  Join Don Pablo, his lovely wife Eliana, and his niece Jessenia as they travel to Guatemala and help out this family’s burgeoning textile business.  Watch as they visit extraordinary locations like the stunning Lake Atitlán.

View from Laguna Lodge on Lake Atitlán


Join them as they take us inside some of the best restaurants in Antigua and learn what makes them great.

Don Pablo learns about Bistro 5 in Antigua, Guatemala.


Tag along as they show us some of the best places to stay as you spend time in Antigua.

The serene courtyard at the San Rafael Hotel


And most importantly, try some of our delicious Pablo’s Pride Guatemala coffee.

Pablo’s Pride Guatemala – 2LB

Guatemala is one of the best places in the world to grow coffee because of its perfect altitude and rich volcanic soil.  And after we roast it to medium-dark perfection, Pablo’s Pride Guatemala offers a powerfully complex flavor profile with notes of rich chocolate, sweet caramel and a touch of roastiness.  You’ll love the smooth-as-velvet body and low acidity in this well-balanced coffee.

Jessenia, Darron’s niece, on 5a Avenida Norte in Antigua.


Episode 1 of our new series is in production now and we will keep you posted on when and where it will be available.  Until next time!