Today was Global Business Day for Global Glimpse. Since today’s theme was business, we had the opportunity to learn about Nicaragua’s biggest business, the coffee industry. We explored every aspect of the industry, from the farm to the consumer, and had a great time learning about it.
First, we took a field trip to the Beneficio de Café. We were given a tour of the facilities, and saw where the beans are received, dried, cupped (the process of both viewing, smelling, and tasting the coffee to determine its quality), and stored until they are ready to be sent out to customers. We were even able to practice cupping four different qualities of coffee. It’s crazy how much coffee is affected by the size and color of the bean. At the Beneficio de Café we also were able to buy some of the world’s best coffee for all of our families and friends. The coffee from this Beneficio de Café has won the Cup of Excellence numerous times and just this year was ranked third of all the coffee produced in Nicaragua. So, all of you will receive bags of coffee when we arrive home next Friday morning, which is definitely something to look forward to.
Then, to continue in our quest of coffee knowledge, we took a field trip to Barista, the first coffee shop in Matagalpa. Here, we were able to become baristas. We learned how to make a cappuccino, some even attempting to add designs in the foam. Even though our cappuccino art wasn’t nearly as pretty as the real baristas, it was really fun to try. At Barista, we also ordered different items from the menu, becoming the consumers that we learned about and wrapping up the cycle of business that occurs in the coffee industry. Plus, the drinks were delicious. Think Nicaraguan Starbucks, but better, and you have Barista.
We then proceeded back to the hostel where we had our third and final guest speaker of the day, Leonardo Freumberg. Leonardo shared his story with us and it was very interesting. He was born in Nicaragua, but moved to the United States at a young age. After majoring in economics and construction, Leonardo found a job in New York City that he had for seven years. Though he loved his job, Leonardo decided to moved back to Nicaragua in order to help care for his parents. Moving back to Nicaragua led to Leonardo’s discovery of farm life. He now owns a large cattle farm just outside of Matagalpa where he produces milk and cheese. Leonardo practices sustainable farming, relying on only himself and his workers for everything on the farm. He even has energy chambers that transform cow poop into natural gass that provide energy to his farm. Leonardo is also a good boss, providing his workers with seven hour work days, while paying them for eight hours, and adequate housing for his workers and their families. It was refreshing to see that some farm owners are doing their part to improve both the environment and working conditions.
We ended the day with our fifth English Tutoring class. The turnout again was not so great, but those who were there were able to learn a lot. Plus, Matagalpa’s baseball team beat Leon, leaving the city full of celebrations and giving those who missed out on English Tutoring a somewhat valid excuse.
It was great for us to learn about business in Nicaragua and around the world and was even better with all the delicious coffee we got to try.