Hey everyone! This is Olivia and Kimberly, the two Leaders of the Day. Our schedule was so packed today! First, we started off waking up the earliest we’ve ever had, at 6 am. After breakfast, we took a bus to a coffee greenhouse called Invernadero Los Ramírez, run by Miguel Cerafin Ortiz. We learned a bit about how the organization supports other coffee farmers and the industry as a whole, then split up into groups to get straight to work tending the growing coffee plants. With some tips from the manager and the other workers there, we helped to weed a large section of the greenhouse. We took a quick snack break in between, though, because the work was much more strenuous than we had imagined. Although it was not physically easy for many of us, it was a great experience in seeing how the locals make their living and an enlightening introduction to the agriculture industry of the Dominican Republic. The energy that we invested in this activity would make anyone proud.
In the afternoon, after lunch back at the accommodations, we headed over to Café Monte Alto, a coffee factory that works with the greenhouse we visited this morning. We took a fun tour following the process of how coffee is made, from the plants to the picking and drying process, to quality control, to the final coffee bean roasting. For part of the tour, we went into a room where the coffee was separated by quality (size, color, and weight) and had to dress up in masks and hairnets. After seeing all the steps of this elaborate process, we had the opportunity to try some coffee and buy some as well. Many of us thought that the coffee had quite a unique flavor and taste.
Right after this tour, we had to rush over to our second tutoring session at the school, Liceo María Auxiliadora. Despite a small delay, the classes ran smoothly and we all thought they were even more fun and effective than the first ones! We got to know our students quite well 🙂
Overall, this day was tiring but very fulfilling. We got to interact with locals, learn a bit about the coffee industry, and get our hands dirty with some good solid work. As leaders, we had a big responsibility in keeping everyone hydrated, but otherwise, it was a great experience being in charge of so many people for a whole day.
Thanks for keeping up with our trip! See you! 😉
Olivia and Kimberly
PS. Hi Mom! I’m having fun, miss you! – Olivia
PPS: Ama estoy bien aqui y le voy a hablar cuando tenga tiempo- Kimberly