Today was a wonderful tropical day in Matagalpa. Blue skies, warm air, gentle breeze and a lots of sun. We hiked out of the city and away from our hostel, into the jungle and towards the town of La Pita. La Pita is a small coffee co-operative village that is ran by 25 families and sits at the base of the mountains in Matagalpa. It works both in Fair Trade sales and organic farming practices. Making less then $1 a bucket, families scale narrow trails up into the higher altitudes to pick coffee beans one at a time. The process consists of snapping them individually from the branch they grow on, starting at the top of the plant and working down. All members of the family are allowed to work and once your bucket is full, you carry it back down to the processing building (about a mile). The beans are then stripped of their shell, washed and sorted by size. They are then laid out for 24 hours to dry. 100 pounds of coffee fetches a price of $10.
Farmers today are dealing with the challenges of global warming. As beans mature before harvest season their quantity dwindles, making it harder for these families to meet the demands of Europe and America.