Greetings from San Juan de la Maguana,
Today was a very eye opening day for us, leaders of the day, as well as for our fellow peers. Today we went to a local coffee plantation named FECADESJ, to meet and work with the locals at this plantation. FECADESJ is a union for coffee and agricultural workers that focuses on offering job advancements for women, although men still work here. We were able to learn the different steps in producing coffee: fertilize the soil and pack it in bags to plant, organize them in rows in order to water the plants, make a hole in the soil and plant the seed, take the weeds out from existing growing plants to not damage the actual coffee bean. In the activity we did at the plantation, we were all able to experience each of these steps. To achieve this we were divided into groups and assigned to a station, every 30 minutes we rotated.
As we were working, we were able to speak with the locals and hear their stories. We learned about their families, struggles and triumphs. It was also very hot and hard labor but through all the sweat we were glad and fortunate to “work like a local”. This experience worked to help us realize how privileged we are. Many of us seem to be more thankful for the little things in life.
Jocelyn and Cindy