March 19th 2004 - Day 9

Jennifer, Amanda and Katie

Today was a very early start, as we left at 7:00am to make it to the Coffee Co-op in Santa Ana. There, we got a tour of the facilities and learned about coffee beans, and the process through which they are taken to make the coffee we know. We also learned how to rake the coffee beans so they dry out properly. After that, we broke into groups and helped out with various jobs at the Co-op; we raked plantain leaves, carted coffee shells which are used to fertilize trees, and filled pots with soil to plant the young coffee plants. We also went inside and learned about quality control, and how the coffee is graded and tested according to certain criteria. We were assisted by Rotaract Lombardo, and Rotarians Lissett and Julia who came with us.

For lunch, we went to the Santa Ana metro centre. We were planning on going to a special orphanage, but they were unavailable, so instead we went to the ruins of Tazumel and Casa Blanca, which are ancient pyramids from about 500-200B.C. Both sites were incredible, and we learned a lot about the history of El Salvador.

Tonight is dry night (la noche seca) because of the elections on Sunday. So, the Rotaract and some Rotarians are taking us Sona Rosa for dancing at Mr. Frog. We can not stay out too late since we have to get up early tomorrow for our last day of work.