Losing Green to Save Green

Today we had an in depth look at what it’s like as a life of a farmer. We, the Costa Rican Pitt plus 3 program, went to a farm named Union Varsan de monte verde. The man presenting to us was the owner of the farm and his name was Don Guillermo. As a result, the group had some questions about his lifestyle. The first was what life was like on the farm. The answer is pretty busy. They are always working doing something. Whether that’s making a new pin for the chickens, taking after the animals, or giving a tour, something is always going on. They work really hard for everything on the farm. For example, even making good compost takes months of hard work. The next question was what kind of challenges they face. Don Guillermo answered like everywhere else we’ve been to. The biggest challenge they face is climate change and trying to preserve nature in its entirety. Nowadays, this is becoming increasingly difficult. People would rather make a lot of money then help save the environment. This is how the farms are affected by other farms too. Money over nature may sound bad, but to most this is their livelihood. It makes sense that people want to make more money for their family, but it sucks that it comes at the cost of the environment. This way of thinking in the community is one of the hardest challenges they face everyday. On the other hand, we asked what makes Guillermo happy. His answer was so pure. He mentioned how teaching others to love and protect the environment was the best part of his job. He even told us about this group of adults with a little girl. The story was how on a tour these adults were discussing how cutting the tree would make more money than having it, and the little girl they had with them loved the tree for how gorgeous it was. Those were the moments the made him happy. Lastly, as I was walking around I was examining what kind of engineering is involved to make a farm like this possible. I noticed things like terrace farming, thin roofs to allow for light to pass through, and an irrigation system through the farm meant to water the farm in case of a dry spout in the wet season. All these little things were so necessary yet so complex it made me wonder, “what would it be like to be raised on a farm like this?”.

Furthermore, if I was the child of a Costa Rican farmer I believe that I would mainly focus on conservation. Out of all the coffee farms we visited last week, Don Guillermo has been my favorite by far. I loved his message of saving everything and sometimes taking pay cuts to protect nature. Don Guillermo was willing to lose “green” (cash) to save green. This is by far one of the admirable and awesome things I’ve seen while being here. So, If I had my own farm I’d base it off of his design. My farm would have birds, bugs and baby’s all around. My farm would bring in tourism not to make money, but to teach others of the blessing that is our earth. If everyone protected just a little bit of nature we might be better off and that’s what I would hope to teach to others. To focus on the environment is to focus on the world, this is why if I had a farm conservation would be the only right answer. 

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