Today was a very impactful day because we were able to experience what real work is. We were located in Suarez, about a thirty minute drive from San Juan. At this location, we participated in many following activities. We picked small and big peppers and learned about the hard work that goes into planting and maintaining the various fruits and vegetables. There were many techniques that the workers taught us to properly cultivate the crops. We learned that certain plants are more fragile than others, so we needed to be extra careful when picking them.
When we first arrived in Suarez, we were greeted by Leivy Cuevas and his staff with open arms and kind hearts. As we reflected on the question of the day, “Do we really know where the products that we put on the table come from” we came to the realization that we are not always so sure of the source of our food. It reminded us that we need to be more aware of the chemical products that are added into our food. This really made us think outside the box about the source of the food in the U.S. Furthermore, we were able to understand the lack of recognition the workers receive for the amount of hard they put into their crops. One of the greatest moments of this process was the opportunities that we had to really bond and connect with the local people. I am sure that this is an experience that we all will remember for the rest of our lives.
Another great opportunity that we had today was meeting Alfonsina Encarnacion and the rest of the Women’s Association. These women are the ones we will be helping for our CAP Project in order to make a change in their community. At this location we learned about the amazing history of the Women’s Association and how it has evolved over the course of time. During our meeting, we really focused on their needs and thought of some possibilities of how to contribute to them.
During the nightly meeting, we realized that today our eyes were open to the hard work and dedication that the local people put into the community that they care so much for. Through so many heartfelt moments, we can truly say that today was the best day so far and we look forward to more great experiences.