The Life and Motivations of a Tico Farmer

Today we visited Life Monteverde which is a coffee plantation right outside of the border of Monteverde. Here we participated in a tour with Don Guillermo, the same man who presented about sustainability yesterday. Here on the Life Monteverde plantation we learned about the lives of the farmers along with the coffee pickers and the motivations of happiness that they deal with. Firstly, to discuss the coffee pickers, who are arguably the most important since there would be no farm without them, majority of them are migrants from Nicaragua. They come from an island called Ometepe which Life Monteverde pays for the trip to Monteverde. These migrants come either for only the coffee season or all year and the plantation provides housing for all of them which allows them to pay them lower.

Now for the owners of the plantation, they have owned the plantation for many years and have built their connections since the very beginning of their establishment. For instance, in the US Life Monteverde has created a connection with a company that has lasted since the very beginning of their business. The original founders of Life Monteverde, such as Don Guillermo, live their life focusing on happiness rather than the sole focus of money. A great example of this idea was when Don Guillermo explained how they kept the large tree on the plantation as a moral boost and a way to allow people to see the beauty in nature even when they could destroy the tree and grow more coffee and have higher revenue. These decisions that the higher ups of the plantation make really emphasize their motivation for working and their appreciation for nature and having a happy life over anything else.

Furthermore, the plantation has the goal of increasing sustainability and being more organic. While it is not fully organic currently the plantation is making efforts to increase their journey to being fully organic. This means using natural fertilizers which is why they have goats and chickens to collect their feces to use to compost and make manure. There are other requirements as well like not using pesticides and while Life Monteverde currently does use pesticides they also have other practices like planting plants that are more appealing to bugs than the coffee plants. Therefore, many of the central ideas of Don Guillermo and the Life Monteverde farm is focused on the preservation and appreciation of agriculture.

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