La Esperanza

The farmer of hope

    Far into the countryside of Jalisco, nestled in the small town of Autlan, lies a family who has been producing fruits and vegetables for more than four decades. This family is the Aguilars and their company is called La Esperanza, which in Spanish, symbolizes the word hope. What started as a farm producing for the local community back in the 80s has now turned into one of the largest greenhouse-growing operations for Divine Flavor in the state of Jalisco producing the brand’s colored bell peppers. The company officially launched its business for export in 2003, and back then, their vision was simple: be the first family in their region to produce fruits and vegetables for US markets.

Meet Odilon Aguilar, the heart and soul behind Agricola La Esperanza. Raised in the serene embrace of farm life, Odilon’s deep-rooted connection to nature blossomed among horses and the bountiful produce he grew for his family and parts of the community. What started as a humble dedication to cultivating fruits and vegetables transformed into a grand vision: establishing the pioneering greenhouse production in Autlan.

“My dream was to sow the seeds of this company driven by my love for growing produce,” Odilon reminisces. “But above all, La Esperanza flourished out of my love for family, uniting us under one green roof.” With steadfast determination and familial devotion, Odilon’s passion unfurled into a thriving agricultural legacy.

Once La Esperanza was officially created, Odilon dove headfirst into understanding the ins and outs of commercialization and large-scale cultivation, embracing both outdoor and greenhouse practices.

As the company embarked on its journey, Odilon’s children joyfully came forward to support the endeavor. Miriam Aguilar, the eldest of the siblings and a resident of Chapala, eagerly embraced the opportunity. Witnessing her father’s dedication to agriculture, Miriam saw a path to her family’s future within this venture. Joining Miriam were her siblings: Abel, assisting their father with production and the agronomy side, while Miriam, along with Zaida and Carolina, delved into the realm of continuous improvement. This dynamic quartet tackled tasks ranging from farm certifications to building social programs for their company and the workers, showing that the family’s unity and collective efforts were the backbone of their fruitful commercial pursuits.

Reflecting on her journey, Miriam shares, “My father’s passion for farming ignited a fire within me and my siblings, driving us to become an integral part of this company. Farming, much like life itself, teaches us valuable lessons. Just like our resilient crops that withstand immense pressure to bloom into bell peppers, we too must face challenges to blossom and achieve success. It’s a cycle of growth and resilience that mirrors our everyday experiences.”

Once Odilon’s children teamed up with him, the dream of uniting the family within their farm endeavor came to fruition. Shortly after, the family set their sights on even loftier ambitions. Eager to innovate, they not only became the pioneering greenhouse growers of Autlan but also successfully transitioned their operations into a year-round program—an impressive feat in the realm of agriculture.

“When we embarked on our farming venture, we knew there would be hurdles to overcome,” says Odilon. “Our shared love for family fueled our determination, enabling us to surpass these obstacles. Through it all, my wife, Olivia, has been the pillar holding our family together, playing a vital role in nurturing La Esperanza into the thriving company it is today.”

In 2019, La Esperanza seized an exciting opportunity to team up with Divine Flavor, who was on the lookout for a grower to enhance its bell pepper program all year round. With about 10 hectares of greenhouse production experience, La Esperanza brought their expertise to the table, forging a partnership that helped them achieve their dream of becoming a top-notch year-round vegetable producer at a commercial scale.

Fast forward to today, La Esperanza has expanded its operations to an impressive 24 hectares, leading the way in their region by incorporating cutting-edge agricultural innovations into their greenhouse practices.

“With Divine Flavor, we felt a sense of security and we believed in their values of what they stand for as a produce Brand,” says Miriam.

“My family has worked very hard to get to the standard of being able to commercialize our products and we are very thankful for the opportunity of being a Divine Flavor supplier. In return, we have devoted ourselves to producing the best quality products for them because we know their Brand is not just a bunch of growers or products, but it’s a promise to their customers. That is something we are very proud of.”

La Esperanza is a true testament to the power of family, passion, and hard work. Through their dedication to quality and continuous improvement, they have become a leading greenhouse grower in Jalisco, setting the standard for agricultural practices in the region. The Aguilar family’s story is not just about farming, but about a legacy of hope and unity that will undoubtedly inspire future generations of farmers to come.

For more information, please contact:
Michael DuPuis
Public Relations Coordinator
+1 (520)-281-8328