Friday, February 23, 2007

Coffee Plantation in Huehuetenango

Today we drove 5 hours to a coffee plantation. Coffee from Huehue is famous all over the world and happens to be my dad’s favorite! Pastor Luis Batc took us up to a plantation that is owned by one of the families in his church.

4 hours of our trip there and back were on a dirt road. We had to use Jimmy’s 4 wheel drive pickup that only has an extended cab... it wasn’t the most comfortable trip, but very worth it!
When you enter Huehue you have to get your vehicle checked for fruits or veggies and then fumigated if needed. This is to protect all of the coffee plantations.
This is my parents with the owners and pastor Luis standing on coffee beans that are drying.
Walking through the fields of coffee plants.
It starts off as berries.
Somehow my parents tasted some of the berries without us knowing. We have convinced them that they have caught all kinds of things from them. Now we can take them to eat wherever and if they get sick we will just blame it on the berries!
This is Jimmy laughing at them for eating the berries!
The owner hires 50 workers for 3 months to harvest the coffee. They pick the berries by hand and it takes about 4 hours to fill one of these bags and they are paid 5 dollars a bag. It is a good job because their housing is provided.
The berries are separated from the beans and sifted by this machine.
The berry shells are saved and used for fertilizer.
The beans are separated by quality and laid on top of cement to dry for 5 days (if the sun is good).
The owner was so kind, he sent us home with 3 baby coffee plants. My dad said that now he owns his own coffee farm... at least until he flies home!
Since my dad roasts his own coffee, the owner gave him 25 pounds of green coffee beans. That is over $125 worth of green coffee beans in the States!
They shook hands, I just snapped the picture too soon.
These are some of the workers’ kids.
Afterwards we ate dinner at Las Vegas, a restaurant in Huehue.
On the way home my dad and Jimmy decided they would ride in the truck bed rather than in the back of the cab. My dad said he felt like a redneck! It was so cold that my dad borrowed my mom’s coat. About 45 minutes into it they hollered for me to pull over to let them inside.
We had a wonderful day!

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