Today we started our work at a farm in San Cristobal Totonicapán. When we first arrived we climbed to sacred ground on the property where many of the natives have performed their own rituals. After, we walked around the farm interviewing as we went looking at all the avocado and lemon trees. It was so tempting to just pick them off the tree and eat them right away. The coolest part of the day though was when we hiked up to a waterfall. It was a bit of a trek to get there. We had to climb up and down steep slopes and on more than one occasion some others and I fell or tripped. However, this waterfall is anything but ordinary. The waterfall had pipes all around it because it actually produces hydroelectric energy. This energy is then used to power different things and to provide water to all the crops. The use of this energy ends up saving lots of money for the farmers. Not to mention that it is absolutely beautiful.
Later in the day we were transported to another farm that produces Stevia. Stevia is a plant that is a sweetener or sugar substitute that is extracted from the leaves. We even got to try the leaves! I was little apprehensive at first, but I gave it a shot and it really does taste like sugar. Here we saw where the seeds are extracted, planted and then dehydrated. So now we know exactly where and how sugar like equal comes from. After this we traveled back to Marco’s (the leader of Tierra Verde) farm for one last interview. It was the perfect amount of lighting because the golden hour was soon approaching and when we finished we saw a gorgeous Guatemalan sunset.
After our day on the different farms we had dinner at the restaurant, Maya and then made our way to our salsa class. We got a little lost navigating through the streets of Xela, but we made it… eventually. At Salsa Rosa we learned basic salsa steps and ended up combining all our moves at the end of the class. This was probably the funniest thing because some of us had no idea what we were doing, but we made the most of it and had an awesome time even if it was by laughing at ourselves.