Hey its Aubrey and Brooke again!
We had a full day starting with a fantastic, authentic breakfast made by women of the co-op, Amalia and her daughter. We had fresh guacamole, coffee, black beans, and we all tried the bananas (which are far better than the ones in the U.S.).
After breakfast we headed to Antigua by chicken bus (the public transportation which are old school buses from the states) and each one is named after women. Antigua was packed because of Sunday Lent so everyone and their family were in the plaza and following the procession. We converted our money to quetzalas which are named after the god, Quetzalcóatl and also the national bird of Guatemala. Once we got out of the busy area we took the trek over to Hill of the Cross. We hiked up the hill in the heat and sun and were presented with a glorious view of the city and volcanoes.
We had a lunch at local restaurant and had some down time at the house before doing some activities on how coffee farmers are impacted by the economy and capitalism. We over estimated how much farmers actually receive for their work while retailers make almost half of the cost of a pound of coffee. The sessions was surprising and eye-opening for many of us, as we take coffee and consumerism for granted in the U.S. We’re excited to work with them directly tomorrow as we hike up Agua to pick coffee beans and see what the process is really like.
Our amazing guide, Allie, through De La Gente helped translate for us at many locations, including dinner with Mercedes, one of the De La Gente farmers. We had dinner at his residence and learned about his experiences and life in farming. He started working at 10 with his father and has continued for the past 50 years with his own family. Dinner consisted of stuffed chicken and chile with rice and tomato sauce, which was delicious and flavorful. We had wonderful conversations about what life is like in Guatemala, his perceptions of tourists, and how welcoming and relationship-oriented the families are here.
We’re heading off to play some group games before going to bed as we have a long day of work tomorrow. Buenas noches!