¡Hola Amigos!

My name is Levi, and I am a rising senior at Northampton High School. Today I was the LDD (Lider del dia AKA leader of the day). It was such a great day! We started by waking up and having an amazing breakfast of Gallo Pinto made by our great chefs, Rosa and Diego. Then, we got all our bags ready and walked to the Aquiares Coffee Farm where our Program Coordinator, Memo, told us all about how they plant and pick the coffee beans. At the top of a little mountain with a really nice view, we took some group pictures. Everybody on this trip is getting along so well, and we are all really good friends at this point. After seeing the beans, Memo took us into the actual building where the workers turn the white beans into the roasted coffee beans we know and love. We had to wear hard hats inside the building which was cool. Then we walked back to our house where we had a great lunch of rice, beans, and salad. After some downtime, we visited a local dairy farm where we met Carla, the owner of the farm. She taught us how she feeds her cows, how she milks them, and how she turns the milk into her famous Turrialbian artisan cheese. Some of our students even got to milk the cows!! We then got home and were greeted by an awesome dinner.

In our nightly meeting tonight we had a very deep conversation about how local businesses are impacted by the increase of big corporations coming to Costa Rica and other countries with many known exports.  We got really serious about how sometimes we need to think a little more about if what we are buying is truly worth the working conditions of the people who make all the goods we buy.

A few really quick things that I am loving about this trip so far. In the house that we are staying at, there is a dog named Pinta. She is the most adorable dog in all of Costa Rica. Every time that we see her we all greet her with a huge “¡Hola Pinta!” We also have been having so much good food here! It’s really made me reflect on how the things that we may eat in America can sometimes be over-processed, not fresh, and not the best quality.

I miss you, Mom and Dad! I want you to know that I’m doing so much better than when I last talked to you on the phone. We are all having so much fun, but I miss you, Sunny, and Conan so much!

¡Pura Vida!

Levi Armstrong