“The early bird gets the worm.” -Anonymous
Working like a local today resulted in a very strenuous challenge for us all. Starting our day by waking up at dawn (4 AM) and enduring the back breaking work of the local farmers here at Matagalpa, Nicaragua has broadened our horizons of the importance of all farmers. We were first given a presentation from a representative of La Canavalia and a brief overlook of their eco-agriculture activism. They also discussed the importance of being a catalyst by educating the next generation of land owners with topics such as: eco-agriculture, gender equality, and farm sustainability.
After the introduction, we then split into four different groups: working with chicken coups, pruning plants, creating decomposed fertilizer, and fertilizing cacao plants. With the chicken coups, this particular group took on the challenge of gathering eggs, cleaning the eggs, and providing enriched food and water for these animals. With pruning the plants, this group cut off leaves that appeared to be dead or leaves that were growing at the bottom of the plant that was absorbing the minerals, thus not providing adequate minerals to the plant. With creating decomposed fertilizer, the group gathered materials such as leaves, dirt, and remains of plants to create a pile of fertilizer that can be used after three months of aging. With fertilizing cacao plants, this group took the decomposed fertilizer and placed them into 80 pound sacks that they carried on their backs for a very long distance. After carrying these sacks, they placed this fertilizer around the baby cacao plants to provide essential nutrients for the plants that are given three times a year.
After six hours of hard work, we took a break for lunch and ate some delicious soup made by the chefs at La Canavalia that consisted of their in house chicken and vegetables that were grown from their farm.
Our experience working as a local at La Canavalia made us, developing youth leaders, reach an understanding of how we must be conscientious consumers when choosing produce that uses eco-friendly farming methods. Also, we learned that a farmers income does not reflect the value of their work. We pondered on the thought of farmers receiving the salary that they truly deserve as they endure such strenuous work on a daily basis. As we absorbed the intensified labor of the farmers in Nicaragua, we were left with a question reflecting in our minds, How are farmers treated globally related to the profits and benefits that they receive?