Hey! My name is Rodrigo and I was today’s leader of the day. Today we had a fascinating experience visiting the Asociación de Caficultores La Esperanza viewing first hand the process that the coffee we drink every day goes through to make the trip into our mugs. The coffee plant we visited was in a small mountainous village a little over two hours away so our day started with a 6 AM wake up call. After everyone got dressed and packed their bags we had peanut butter sandwiches for vegetarians along with ham and cheese sandwiches with a variety of fruit for breakfast. When the clock hit 7 and everyone finished their breakfast all of us loaded onto the bus for a two hour road trip on an extremely beautiful but curvy road even though more than half of us were asleep for it. When reaching our destination we were welcomed by many wonderful locals at the nursery that were open armed and full of love, they even called us “family.” We all feel very loved here and we are all so happy to engage with locals and learn about all the fascinating natives lives. The coffee process amazed all of us as the land surrounding the nursery was gorgeous. While at the nursery we made sure to ask a ton of questions about the process and how much the workers enjoy working there as they get fair treatment. The answers we received were extremely fascinating, we learned so much about the process that coffee beans go through that we probably would never know about, they even have their own specialty coffee that is only made by women through the whole process, called “Cafe Femenino”. It was truly wonderful to see that there are workers that are not being over worked and being treated fairly and there was as much authority for women as there was for men. #equalrights.
After leaving the nursery we took a quick ten minute bus ride to the plant that they process the coffee bean into the ground coffee we buy in bags at supermarkets. Seeing the machines used and coffee beans in person was a surreal experience. We ended the tour by tasting the delicious coffee that the association has to offer and having an opportunity to meet the president of the association, having a short conversation with him to talk about all the association does to give back to the local coffee farmers. When we finished talking to the president we had the opportunity to purchase coffee beans to take home. After purchasing the coffee the group headed down to a local dining house we ate rice with black beans along with fried chicken, potatoes, and a chili vegetable medley for lunch. When lunch was complete everyone in the group thanked the woman that cooked the meal and loaded onto the bus for another two and a half hour drive. The road trips are one of the bright spots during the day as we get a little reminder of home with a spotify playlist that everyone adds to and everyone sings along in unison to our one little last grip of life at home. The road trip ended at the local school were we started our first English tutoring lessons. It was a challenging but extremely rewarding experience to teach the students English. It was so gratifying seeing how motivated the students were to learn English and how important it was to them. After we all finished our lessons we took some time to prep for our next lessons and hopped back on the bus one final time to head back to the accommodation. Once we arrived we were grateful to finally be back and had ten minutes to change out of our formal teaching clothes before dinner. The meal served for dinner tonight was salad with a bread roll and Mangu topped with cheese along with some mangu without cheese for our fellow lactose intolerant glimpsers. The final touch, as typical during the rest of the trip, is an assortment of delicious fruit juices. Once finished with dinner the group had a couple minutes of downtime before our self reflection for today as the dish crew did the dishes. Once dishes were done we started our self reflection on both the positives and drawbacks of global businesses in a community. After the self reflection the GG leaders laid down some ground rules for now on about nightly meetings to make them more efficient which ended up being extremely effective once tonight’s nightly meeting commenced. Overall, today was an extremely eventful and long day that was very informative on global business in the Dominican Republic as well as the process our coffee goes through.
From Celeste: “Hey Jonathan’s mom! Could you please tell my mom how to log in to see what we post here for updates I forgot to tell my mom how to do it, thank you!!! <3”
We miss all our families very much but we’re having so much fun that the days seem shorter now so we will see you soon!