Life Monteverde was sincerely one of the greatest representations of a passion for the Earth I have ever seen. The commitment to sustainability, education, and long-term thinking should be a model for farmers worldwide. Guillermo’s vision of a farm that gives to the environment as much as it takes was truly an inspiration, it seemed that his work brought him utter joy along our tour. I believe if I was a farmer similar to Don Guillermo, I would attempt to follow in his footsteps by taking steps like creating my own fertilizer, incorporating his farm into the forest, and educating others on sustainable practices.
It seemed that Guillermo’s life was fairly simple, but he was one of the happiest human beings I’ve ever encountered. You could tell by his comments and practices that he truly loves trying to leave a positive impact on the environment. He mentioned how modern techniques of monocropping and using heavy pesticides can have negative impacts on the land surrounding a farm. That’s why they avoid any of those practices and rather grow natural pesticides as well as leave the forest for animals and insects to live so they don’t eat crops. He explained how he has been in numerous countries around the world speaking on the subject of sustainability, exemplifying how you can see the world without prioritizing money. He said a small but heavy piece of advice on our tour, he expained that there are some things just more important such as the tree we all took photos with.
It seems that Guillermo’s biggest struggles were with attempting to get others to join his mission. It’s hard to help others see past profit and understand that sustainability is much more important in the long run. We could see the engineering involved in which the farm has to be specifically designed to produce a solid yield of crops but not take away from the natural landscape. In one part of the coffee plantation, a steep hill was converted into a step like design to avoid heavy rain wiping out plants. On top of that, shade trees are implemented all over the farm to make the hot sun a bit more bearable during harvest season. To increase income, Guillermo is able to market his farm’s coffee as organic to raise prices for the increased quality. All in all, it was a major feat that Guillermo is able to look past the numbers and see how maintaining the enviroment of his farm can be so rewarding.