Ride to San Miguel Escobar
Today we had the opportunity to visit a farmer at the foot of the volcano “Agua”, a little south of Antigua Guatemala. We went there by using one of the so called “Chicken Buses”, which are old U.S. school buses, which are now used as public transportation vehicles here in Guatemala. Many of them have been repainted in very bright colors, and they look awesome. Thank god that our guide knows which bus we have to take, there is no way of knowing which bus goes where, I guess the only two ways are knowing or asking. After a 15 minute ride we reached our destination, which was a small village called San Miguel Escobar, where we got a warm welcome by Don Filiberto, the owner of the ranch.
One of the main products of this ranch is coffee. Incidentally, coffee is a major industrial branch in Guatemala, and also the mostly exported product of Guatemala. I think coffee is one of the best things this world has ever seen. I drink several coffees every day, but so far I have never seen how it is cultivated. We hiked through the hills of the farm, where the coffee plants are carrying a heavy load of fruit at the moment. At the moment, the fruits are ready to be harvested, so people were gathering the fruit from the plants, all by hand of course. We had the opportunity to taste a coffee fruit, and to my surprise it was somewhat sweet. Each fruit contains two seeds – the coffee been which later will be fermented and dried before it will be sold.
Other things that we have seen and done
On this particular ranch, there were other things to be seen. For example they are cultivating corn, beans, and a fruit called jocotes, which is used to produce a liquor. After this very interesting and also scenic hike, we went back to the farm in San Miguel, where they prepared us a snack: Hot chocolate, tortillas, beans, guacamole, and bread. I also found my first souvenir there, a bag Guatemalan coffee, which smells wonderful before even opening it.