The four highland communities are connected by a rough dirt road that winds along one of the Sierra de Managua’s narrow ridges. Small farms and cultivated fields (i.e., coffee, pitayah, pineapple, tomatoes and beans) descend steeply from the road. La Concepcion, the nearest town (8 km) is the gateway to market for the coffee and citrus production from the area.
Palo Solo’s approximately 170 residents get their livelihoods from agriculture. Some are small-scale farmers.
Past Palo Solo, this windswept and high-elevation community endures a harsher climate, with cold temperatures, volcanic gases, and few trees. Most farmers work as seasonal laborers on large coffee farms to supplement income from their smaller cash-crop plots.
Of the four communities, San Caralampio is the one closest to town. Yet farmers struggle with a limited supply of water for irrigation, but the larger pieces of land at least allow for crop diversification, which buffers down years.
Located between San Caralampio and Palo Solo, Loma Negra families do not have access to regular transportation. Families derive most of their income from small, diversified farms.