Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Photos from the Visit to El Sute and El Horno

Preparing Hector's Truck to head up to El Sute involved loading the wind machine that Luis and Adalid had made and hoped to install while we were there.
Ripe Coffee in the community of El Tamarindo on the way up to El Sute.

The road to El Sute passes through the village of Concepcion del Horno (Known everywhere as El Horno). Both areas are part of the watershed above the El Coyolar dam, which we can see in the distance.

My friend Melvin was not able to go camping with us this year, as he needed to tend his new store in El Horno. So it was nice to see him as we pulled up to the soccer field in El Horno.

Just past El Horno, the community of El Sute begins. Don Chico's house is the first place on the right as you enter the area of El Sute.

A view from the hill above Don Chico's homestead.

Upon Arrival, Don Chico immediately showed me his new drying shed , that he has pledged to only fill with organic coffee .

Some of Don Chico's organic beans. Notice his depulper has been breaking some of the beans - Adalid was able to help with that.

This is his other drying shed, which he made into a cabin for us to sleep by setting foam mattresses on top of the drying tables.

This is the wind turbine, installed on the hill above Don Chico's house. We spent a long time watching Luis, Hector and Adalid monkey with this to try to make it work. It is repurposed steel drum on an axle, with a bicycle rim attached. A belt goes from the rim to a used car alternator, which charges a car battery, in theory.

Here is the wind turbine, functioning as it was intended. However, we eventually had to remove it and bring it back to Comayagua for modifications.

Don Chico's coffee by his house. The home plot, which he is transitioning to organic.

Don Chico in the home plot.

Banana tree in Don Chico's home coffee plot.

We walked back to El Horno to visit Don Chico's brother-in-law, Don Salvador. This was our view.
On the way to El Horno, we stopped to assess the flow of the creek below Don Chico's house. Hector thinks we can install hydroelectric mini-turbines on this creek. Three in succession. 

At Don Salva's place, checking out the photos on my camera.
They were making tortillas when we arrived. This is the first step in grinding the corn.

The next step is use a stone to grind it finer and then form the tortillas and cook them on a wood-fired griddle.

There is the griddle for the toritllas - it is multi-purpose. For heating up coffee, boiling beans, and warming the cat.

Don Salvador has a drying shed too. His is full of coffee. Ready to go for Farmer to Farmer.
Don Salvador's little solar charger. Useful for cell phone batteries and a little electric lamp for their kitchen.

Then had breakfast.
On the way to Don Chico's organic plot, we stopped to shake our heads at his neighbor's destruction of a forest of sweetgum trees - probably to plant coffee. Don Chico's plot is the dark green in the background.

Don Chico's organic plot. The coffee looks good.

A proud farmer.

Don Chico had some yellow coffee berries. Much like apples, some coffee varieties ripen to yellow.
Organic coffee. Ready to pick.

Federico, Don Chico's grandson, wanted a photo with the toy car I had brought him.

Don Chico's coffee

A man. Outstanding in his field.

Before the last 20 years, there was very little coffee grown in El Sute. The land was a patchwork of corn and bean fields and pasture for animals. This is photo of a new coffee plantation planted on an old corn field. The shade trees (if there are any) are still as small as the coffee. They have obviously removed all the weeds (herbicide) so the land is open to erosion. A stark contrast to the shady coffee of Don Chico's organic plot. 
The El Sute Soccer field.

Look closely. My parting gift from El Sute was that the trail to Don Chico's organic plot was full of a type of tiny tick (smaller than a deer tick). These ticks cluster on the ends of vegetation and land like a bomb on an unsuspecting person's clothing, whereupon they fan out looking for flesh. This photo shows my friend Melvin's shirt immediately after getting tick bombed. He was able to see, and brush off the ticks. I was not so lucky with ones that landed on my not-so-smart wool socks and moved up under my pants. Yikes! One week later, the itching has subsided.

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