Hello friends and family of glimpsers this is Kevin and Eric the leaders for today. Today was our “Live Like a Local Day” in which we visited a rural community of coffee planation workers and joined them for their daily routine in and around their homes.
The name of the community was Tejerina and it is made up of about 200 homes. The group was split up into partners of twos and threes to join individual families for the day. We got to share in their chores for the day such as: cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cooking, shorting good beans and corn from the bad, gathering water, and repairing their floors. We were able to interact with residents of all ages from small toddlers to seventy-year-old grandparents. We helped them to make tortillas and carry large buckets of water from the watering hole a little way away from their houses. This all gave us a really good look into what the actual day to day routine and lifestyle of these people looks like. This is very different from the prospective that we previously had by just seeing them from a bus window as we drove by.
We got to learn about their working schedule and how difficult finding work is for them due to the coffee season only lasting about four months out of the year. This forces them to save where they can in order to stretch the money. One way this is done is that even though they work to create the best coffee in the world, they can only drink the cheap stuff. Most of the older children had to work a fulltime job as well as go to school on Saturdays which is around 7 kilometers away. Parents who did have year-round jobs had to walk to a bus to get to work many miles away.
After getting to know the families in the morning, we all ate lunch with them at their homes. Then we all gathered together at the community’s elementary school and other Glimpsers to break a piñata.
We came back to the hostel and reunited with the few of us who were not feeling well enough to join us for the day’s trip. We were challenged to do laundry by hand while others took bucket showers. This is because in the spirit of “Living Like a Local Day” we wanted to try to experience their life as best we could. After resting and regaining energy from the morning’s labor we presented our CAP (Community Action Project) to the director of the school
Finally, we had a dinner of rice and beans along with a piece of cheese and some oatmeal drink that was surprisingly nice as well as sweet. Before our nightly meeting, we celebrated our second on-trip birthday which was Casey who turned seventeen. The birthday celebration rounded off our day quite nicely and filled our minds with valuable knowledge as well as a better appreciation for the luxuries at home we take for granted.