*This blog was written last night and is being posted a day late due to our disconnect from the internet for 24 hours for the “Living on $1 for a day” challenge.*
After yesterday’s free day allowed us to sleep in until 8, it was pretty sad to have to wake up at 6 again. We ate a quick breakfast that consisted of a variety of fruits (ma you would have loved the papaya) and headed back to the hostel. We then sat through an hour long seminar on our daily theme (global business) in which we discussed fair trade policies and globalization’s effects on Nicaragua’s economy. With this information in mind, we headed on an hour long bus ride to a small farm town in the Nicaraguan mountains called La Garnacha. Pablo, the man who greeted us, described La Garnacha’s corporate goal as producing crops and products in a manual and eco friendly fashion (no chemicals or machines are used). We then split into two groups and took around the area. My group started by learning about the complex process of harvesting coffee. Once the exterior berry of the coffee plant is hand picked, the farmers use wooden sticks similar to ores to smash open the shell and reveal the coffee bean inside – a job we all got to participate in. Next in the process was the roasting of the beans over a firewood stove (which we also all got to help with); according to our guide, this method allowed the beans to retain their flavor better than mass produced, industrial beans. Lastly, we saw the beans drying out on a large sifting board – some us even chewed on the raw beans (which were surprisingly good). Moving away from coffee production, we next got to feed and hold goats, most people’s highlight of the day. Finally, we learned about the process of creating fertilizer with the help of worms and goat manure. We got our hands dirty and packaged some bags of it just before lunch. After a long morning, everyone enjoyed the freshly prepared chicken and amazing black coffee we were generously offered. After lunch we made a quick stop at the gift shop – to all the coffee loving parents: don’t worry, your son/daughter (probably) bought a bag for you.
Just before leaving the peaceful town, we took a short walk to check out the beautiful land surrounding La Garnacha, however, our day wasn’t over. On our way back into Esteli, we stopped at Ralph’s tobacco factory. A simple and knowledgeable man, Ralph hospitably welcomed us into his home and we were (once again) offered delicious Nicaraguan coffee. He explained his affiliations to fair trade, how he profits from a small home business, and showed us the small rooms behind his house where the cigars are produced.
It was truly an honor to be El Lider del Dia on such an eventful day. Thanks for reading, hope you’re all enjoying the blogs back home.
P.S. Hi mama!! Gracias por comentar en todos los blogs me da mucha alegria. Ya se me fue mi bicho gracias a Dios, aun enferma disfrute ese dia. Me voy a conectar otra vez el jueves, pegate al face. Y ntp, te compre bolsa de cafe para Enero para tomar juntas 🙂 besos te extraño bastante