Quote of the day: “If you’re totally illiterate and living on one dollar a day, the benefits of globalization never come to you.” –Jimmy Carter

Question of the day: What elements are needed for a community to develop a successful business model?

Today (Note: blog post refers to June 14) was Sophia’s birthday, and we all wanted to celebrate this by waking up especially early and hiding inside of our meeting room. As Sophia entered the room, everyone jumped out of hiding and screamed “Happy Birthday!” To kick off the rest of the day, we journeyed to a widely known co-op community, Salinas. Salinas is famous for their exquisite cheeses and chocolates that are hand-made and exported internationally by their own community members.

Our tour started with the introduction of Luis, who led us to the cheese factory, Salineras. Through this, we were able to experience the inner workings of the process behind production in one of their many cheese factories. Afterwards, we were briefly introduced to the variety of cheeses that they offered, of which we were given the opportunity to taste and purchase. In addition to this, we had the pleasure of touring the dehydrated products factory, as well as the textile factory. Each morning, the community members deliver heaps of wool that is cleaned and threaded through their manufacturing line. The benefits of supporting a local community were evident in the kind old ladies’ faces in a textile souvenir shop, as we swarmed the store for intricate ponchos and warm scarves.

We soon discovered that 95% of the Salinas population worked in the cheese production factory, with rural communities delivering fresh, organic milk to the assembly lines as early as 4 in the morning. The dedication and commitment of the population of Salinas emphasizes the importance of working together to support each other as a community.  Not only does this highlight the grit and perseverance of the Salinas community, but it emphasizes how important the dollar of a consumer is. Consumerism is a large factor, as Lauren says, “Vote with your wallet.” As a consumer, you can say many things about where you choose to spend your money, whether it be supporting large corporations or home-grown businesses.  As a smart consumer of today’s economy, this is why it is essential to research the business you invest in.

Once we returned from Salinas, we prepared for our 4th day of English Tutoring. Unexpectedly, the forecast was met with a slight drizzle, something we have been expecting for the entire trip. Though, this didn’t deter our passion to help and improve the English of our fellow tutees.

After a lovely dinner at Feroz, Camilo called us in for a meeting about our community action project. To our surprise, his discussion digressed into an unexpected birthday video dedicated to Sophia. Beautifully created by Camilo, the video comprised of multiple clips featuring Glimpsers, leaders, and local students that were wishing her happy birthday.

Big Love to Camilo for his amazingly edited surprise birthday video. Big Love to Carlos and Brendan for buying cake and ice cream for Sophia and the glimpsers to enjoy. Big Love to Brittney for encouraging, guiding, and supporting us during this entire trip. Also, Big Love to both Vi and Carter for helping the leaders of the day during the meals. Lastly, Big Love to the people who commented on the previous blogs for sharing the love and support.

P.S. Tomorrow (Note: June 15th) will be our second free day, so expect incoming phone calls from your fellow Glimpsers!

Salinas and Luis

Salineras – How The Cheese Is Made



Textile (Wool) Factory

Textile (Wool) Factory

Textile (Wool) Factory

Textile (Wool) Factory

We Picked Up A 30th Glimpser!

Artesalinas (Over 80 women hand-make these items for sale)