Guatemala Day 4: More Coffee

20130930_121020 20130930_09004220130928_152638Monday Wilmar road a bus in from his village and joined us for the day. In the morning, Galen had to take his car to the garage for a small fix before driving us back to the city and then on to Honduras the next day. So we dropped the car off and walked around Cobán. First we visited a local coffee shop so Ted could try some fresh roasted local coffee. I tried a hot chocolate, which they make there with ground cacao beans, water, and sugar–no milk (though that can be added at additional cost). We then wandered back through the markets to get the car. With Wilmar as our personal shopping assistant, we were able to pick up several gifts and other things. The markets are quite an experience with live turkeys and chickens, food of all shapes and colors, toys, skirts, fabric, tortillas, and all sorts of smells.
IMG_20130930_163316620 IMG_20130930_164027479 IMG_20130930_164022754After lunch and a short rest at the house, we visited the Mennonite Church offices in Carcha. There we were introduced to the president and spoke briefly about our desire and calling to come and help. We then met another pastor/coffee farmer named Francisco who was in town for a meeting and drove back to his coffee farm. He is a very progressive farmer who has worked to bring people together to improve their situation. He recently tried a new spray for his coffee crop to combat the fungus and that day was the first time he had been to the field since he had sprayed it to see if it had any effect. His fields are a half hour from his house driving on very rocky roads; he usually has to walk to them–at least an hour one way. His fields are on a steep hill that we had quite a climb to get to, but the spray appeared to have been quite effective and the bushes were covered with lots and lots of green cherries and the leaves were nice and green. Harvest seasons is November through January, so by February, we will know if he has found a workable solution! Ted enjoyed talking with Francisco about coffee and the potential for bringing farmers together to process it themselves and export it. Even if they can get it processed themselves, there are several levels of corruption that will need to be overcome.
We ended the day with dinner at a nice area restaurant with another missionary couple in the area (non-Mennonite).

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