Today The focus is the lives if the folks who live in this agricultural area. We went to a factory where they prepare cassava for export. The crop is grown nearby, it is brought to the factory to be cleaned, peeled, and chopped and packed either in chunks or strips. The waste is sold for feed.
The workers get paid by weight of he finished basket. There are men and women with the sharpest possible knives, a lot like Justin. They work starting at 6:30 have a breakfast break at 8, work until noon lunch break and then until 3, six days a week.
Our next stop was a pioneer family who moved from the coffee area to this side of Costa Rica in the 1970s with a land grant of 25 acres and with clean water and available electricity. The land is very fertile and receives adequate rainfall for the crops so that irrigation is not necessary. If they managed to make it work and almost all did, the got the title to the land and began to pay property tax.
Above is the original couple, he is now 93 and she is 88. They live with Rodriguo and their daughter Sonja. The large open room is kitchen, dining room, living room and party space. Open on 3 sides is is open to every breeze. The house it attached to us small and very clean.
This family is one of the five siblings of the original grantee and she and her husband have 5 acres which they farm with cassava and taro and beans. They have three children one of whom has gone to university and now works in finance in San Jose. The other two are females one is living with her sister and new baby and the the baby’s father.
We were divided into three groups and given $5 to shop for the ingredients for a salad. We got lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, carrots and bread freshly baked in the French supermarket way. Tom said he always called that thing salad. It was not on our list.