Artisans, Design, and Big Dreams

It’s been a busy few weeks here. Sometimes it seems like doing work is the best way to create new work. Every finished project opens the doors to two more. A large part of my focus in the past two weeks has been on different design projects, mostly directed toward the coffee courses that fund our project. This is the front of a flyer waiting approval from one of our partners to go to print:

and our new logo:

Lately we’re really looking into different ways to promote our artisan connections. Things like our connection with a local guitar maker and local ceramicists seem like great ways to both generate a little extra revenue for the project and to introduce people to the communities who don’t have the time to commit to volunteering. Check out our pages for our ceramicist and guitar makers here:

Guitars

Ceramics

Our first volunteers since I’ve taken on the role as coordinator are coming this Saturday. I’m excited, it will be a learning process I’m sure. Bismark and Noemy, their hosts, live in a beautiful little house with a tiled roof and clay walls up in Mozonte. They have a small farm where they grow corn and beans, and a little coffee crop, all without the slightest hint of machinery or chemicals. They make their own cheese and sour cream in the house. Claudia has made some comments about how she’s jealous of our new volunteers. I can’t help but agree.

It’s our program’s hope that eventually we’ll have a small demonstration farm in Mozonte as well, with the idea of creating a community garden and agricultural learning center. With a little luck, after this year’s coffee season we might have enough to buy an acre or two and start on that. I’d really love to see more variety in the crops grown here, and the only way to start is teaching through demonstration. After all, what good is it to grow broccoli if no one knows a recipe with it?

A good analogy for why teaching agriculture in this fashion might be my relationship with sushi, one I feel like is probably shared with at least one person reading this. The first time I heard about sushi I was, well, pretty grossed out by the idea of eating raw fish, but then when I tried it I fell in love with the buttery deliciousness of salmon sashimi. If we can give community members a taste of the metaphorical sashimi that is a multiculture, maybe they’ll fall in love.

It should be possible to buy a piece of land to start a demonstration farm for around 10,000USD. It seems like so little for land in american eyes, but it’s an incredible amount of money here. Like I mentioned before, the revenue generated through the courses for industry professionals in the coffee season should bring us pretty close, but it’s hard to know for sure.

The next couple weeks will definitely be interesting. We’ll keep you posted.

-Bennett LaFond, Project Coordinator

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