Happy 4th of July! My name is Catherine Falzon, and I am from San Marin High School in Novato, California. I was El Lider del Dia for Global Business day. We started off our day with a wakeup call at 6 AM and pancakes for breakfast for the third time, which was great. Then we had our Global Business Seminar to prepare for today’s activities. We learned about fair trade and how it affects coffee farmers and consumers. We discussed the pros and cons of fair trade to further our understanding of it.
After our seminar, we boarded the bus, and our beloved bus driver, Carlos, took us to El Finca Paraiso, a coffee farm in Matagalpa. There we learned about the process of planting coffee beans from Marvin Alvarez. He taught us how long the plants take to grow, what makes them grow faster, and how busy their harvesting season is. We got to go in the back of a truck and take a bumpy tour through the coffee farm, which was gorgeous and filled with beautiful scenery, and a lot of coffee plants. It was a really cool experience, and we got to learn a lot and have an amazing time.
We then headed off to beneficio seco Don Esteban, the dry mill in Matagalpa. At the dry mill we were taught how to taste coffee by Francisco Javier, and we had the opportunity to taste different types of coffee ourselves. Francisco Javier told us to identify whether the coffee was sweet or not, had a floral taste, and how strong the taste was. It was a great experience, especially for the coffee lovers of the group.
Our coffee filled day didn’t end there. After lunch at the hostal, we all walked a few blocks to Cafe Barista, the first coffee shop in Matagalpa. There the ladies who ran the business taught us about how their business started, and how they started the coffee shop hype in Matagalpa. Then we each got one free drink of our choice and many of us chose the Mint Chocolate Frappe, while some chose caramel iced coffee and other delicious drinks. Many of us decided to spend some of our money on other treats at Barista and bought brownies and cheesecake, which were also very delicious.
Then we made our way back to the hostal for our Education Seminar where we learned about the differences between education in Nicaragua and the United States. We also discussed whether or not education is a right or a privilege, which led to interesting discussions with the group. Then we had a short block of free time. Many people went to go pick up their laundry, but some of us had a special surprise for the group to plan.
Candi, Maria, Matt, Layla, and I went to go decorate a local restaurant, Casa Abya Yala, to surprise the rest of the group with a 4th of July celebration. To keep our party a secret, Jorge told the group that our chef had gotten sick and gone to the hospital, so the group had to improvise and go to a restaurant for dinner instead. The rest of the group was pleasantly surprised to have our Independence Day party, and we were all excited to have hamburgers after being gone from America for a week. The other Matagalpa delegation from New York came as well, and we got to meet a lot of new people from that group. Our night at the restaurant consisted of lots of laughing, dancing, and taking pictures. It was an amazing way to end our caffeine filled day.