Life as a PCV
San Isidro Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
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.
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.
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...