Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Finca los Nietos

Finca los Nietos
This morning, some students from the spanish school went on a tour of a coffee plantation called Finca los Nietos. The place is run by an American couple who have lived here since the early 1990s. They purchased a gorgeous plot of land in San Lorenzo El Cubo, just outside of Antigua and turned it into a huge garden and modest coffee plantation. I think they make more money giving tours than selling coffee- 3 to 4,000 trees on an acre and a half of land. One coffee tree which is about the size of a 10-year old child produces about one processed pound (I`m guessing) of coffee.

The coffee trees were blooming which is rare since they only bloom for about a day or two. Al Thompson, the owner, said that the next day the tiny white flowers would be gone. In place of the lost blooms is where the coffee beans form. The season for picking the beans is from December through March- all the beans are ready at different times.

Al showed us all the plants and flowers (including 4 kinds of orchids) in his garden and a quick tour and explanation of the process. The process he uses is completely organic and nothing is wasted- all `waste` is recycled for fertilizer including the urine from the worms that are used for composting. We got to go inside his house and we got a small bag of coffee beans and a cup of brewed coffee included in our admission.

If anyone wants a bag of this coffee, let me know and I can get it before I leave. There is place in Antigua that sells the beans. It was really good! Al has also written a book about coffee, see more at, The title is Detours: From Classrooms to a Guatemalan Coffee Farm. No, he did´t pay me for the plug....

My Last Week in Guatemala
One thing I will not miss about being here is being gawked at just walking down the street. I think we are pure entertainment for the locals. All of my instructors have asked me if my hair color is natural. They are so amused by our lives in the states as it is so different from theirs and they will probably never travel outside of Guatemala, many of them will never travel outside their villages. The men on the chicken buses do their best to say hello in my language.... it was kinda cute at first but it grew old quite quickly. It proves what a melting pot the United States really is.

I return to Portland in one week! I feel like my time here has gone by so quickly. I will be so sad to leave. I will be taking full advantage of my remaining days, but I have made so many great connections and have had such a great time here in this amazing country.

I know it is late in my blog, but here is the link to the spanish school.


At 10:37 PM, May 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How interesting to tour a coffee plantation, that's a lot of trees for that small acreage. And oh my, the orchids must be beautiful. Say, I have birthday club in July and usually make about 10 cups of coffee so just a little bit of coffee would be good. Thanks.
I was actually browsing the other nite and found the website "aroundantigua' where there was a smidgen on the spanish school.
Which day will you be leaving Antigua?

At 2:09 PM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Butch and I are avid coffee drinkers along with grandma and grandpa Comer so if you would not mind I would love some of that coffee to share with them. Just let me know how much I owe you when you get back. We can not wait to see you pictures and hear the stories.

Love you lots
Aunt Lori

At 5:53 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger jen said...

Hey Nic,
I'm still reading...though some days I have to read two days worth at once! :) It sounds like you're having an incredible time. I can't wait to see photos when you get back. Your missing some serious rain back here in P-town, so soak up the sunshine while you can! Look forward to seeing you soon.

At 5:30 PM, May 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Colie,
It sounds like your having a great time. We can't wait to see pics. I have been telling Izzy & Izaak about your trip and they are excited to see them too!! Miss you and love ya lots!!

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