The father of the owner of Los Almendros, Roberto, had some business to take care of today and I tagged along. Roberto had some questions regarding his coffee farm and irrigation. He recently inherited the coffee farm from his father, and the government offers a service in order to maximize agricultural income, they supply you with expert advice, free of charge. First we went to San Salvador to pick up the agricultural engineer, and then to Los Pinos coffee so the engineer could show Roberto some ideas, and then we headed to Roberto's farm on the border of Guatemala.
Los Pinos has a view of Lago de Coatepeque, a crater lake formed over 50,000 years ago. I was happy with my decision to skip surfing and go on an impromptu coffee tour. While they were looking at shut off valves etc., I was exploring.
I never would have come here without Roberto. Lake Coatepeque is one of those places that is not a tourist destination and so is not that easy to get to. Now that I know, if I were to return I would like to rent a house right on the lake. It is so peaceful.
Los Pinos is a cooperative formed in the 1980s, and one of the few successes of the agricultural reform (instituted by the El Salvadoran government with pressure from the United States). The idea of the reform was to take land away wealthy elites and give back to the workers, but the problem with this plan is that many people who received land did not manage their crops well (it is not as though farming is easy). Cooperatives were a way to join together with other workers to own larger amounts of land with a common goal, in this case, coffee.
You are looking at my last pupusas!
After lunch we picked up some drinks to go, and then went to Roberto's farm.
He lives right on the Pan-American Highway, the world's longest "motorable road."
His house is more like a museum, it is beautiful. And I have an open invitation! Which is how I ended up here really. I told Roberto that next time I come to El Salvador I would like to visit his farm, but next time quickly turned into now.
The land in the distance belongs to Guatemala.
This concludes my trip to El Salvador and Honduras!
Right now I am on a coffee farm in El Salvador, and in less than 12 hours I will be on a plane headed back to California.
Each time I explore a country in Latin America I feel nothing but blessed. I love how raw and real it is, and that every country offers something different.
Latin America calls my name, and I always listen.