Life as a PCV

San Isidro Travel Blog

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La casa de Bridget

After jaloning it from Yuscaran, we were dropped off about 2 hours away from San Isidro. We caught a bus in a small town (if you can even call it that) called Las Crucitas. My friend informed me that this was a dangerous stretch of road because people were often hijacked in their cars. I guess some guy was recently murdered not too far from there because he owed someone coffee money. That is right. Coffee. The area where my friend lives is filled with fincas and coffee is probably the largest industry. We got off the bus to the next town called Teupasenti where apparently it was to be my last encounter with electricity and a normal toilet/shower for a few days. We got another ride up to San Isidro (about another hour) an arrived at my friend's house in the dark so I could not see much.

Inside my PCV friend's abode

There is no electricity but luckily she has a solar panel so we could have a light on for a few hours at night. I stayed in San Isidro for 4 days, helping her with some PC projects - designing chicken coops, the usual, you know? This was my first experience with a pila and latrine. San Isidro has a system for getting running water from a stream up in the mountains so everyone can fill their pilas to get water. The latrine had to also be flushed by pouring water into it so it would run out the back. Subsequently, all toilet paper had to be thrown in a trash can and later burned because there was no trash service! That took a few days to get used to.

Another one of her projects consisted of mapping out the village's watershed. We started the day off going to a coffee finca at 6:00 with a load of coffee pickers in a truck.

Hiking along the watershed to map it out for the community
I felt bad but the driver let us get in the front seat with him while close to 15 Hondurans stood in the truck bed. From the finca we got directions to the village's water source. With only a GPS we navigated our way through the forest and eventually came out on the other side, a few kilometers away. When we got back to her house we checked eachother out for ticks, only to find that we were covered!  I must have had atleast 50 of them....ugh. We stripped down in the backyard and pulled ticks off of eachother for about an hour and then showered in hopes that it would kill the rest. Now by shower, I mean boil water from the pila and pour it into buckets and pour it over yourself while standing almost on top of the latrine. By far, the worst shower ever.
Coffee, still on the plant
But after 4 days with no shower, anything is better than nothing!

I learnt a lot about the production of coffee while in San Isidro. It is really something that most people in the western world take for granted. They get their Starbuck's or corporate chain coffees never knowing what effort went into its production. Like, where did it really come from? who harvested it? who dried it? and how many people died over it? I found out that most coffee is bagged there and sent to other countries such as Brazil or Colombia because it is much more attractive to purhcase Colombian coffee than Honduran...so you might not be getting what you think! Many people also probably do not know that (at least in Honduras) for coffee to be considered "fair trade", the family that owns the finca must have a pila and latrine. This tends to not be the case with many rural coffee farmers, as they are living in poverty and do not have access to these facilities. So think about that next time you buy coffee!

All in all, it was an eye-opening experience in San Isidro but I was ready to leave! I like my hot showers...

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La casa de Bridget
La casa de Bridget
Inside my PCV friends abode
Inside my PCV friend's abode
Hiking along the watershed to map …
Hiking along the watershed to map…
Coffee, still on the plant
Coffee, still on the plant
Chiquitas con pollitos
Chiquitas con pollitos
View from San Isidro at dusk
View from San Isidro at dusk
the massive CUCARACHA!!!
the massive CUCARACHA!!!
Cute little girls of San Isidro
Cute little girls of San Isidro
Silly pup, I told you not to drink…
Silly pup, I told you not to drin…
San Isidro
photo by: ashleynpearson