Pinã Colada Paradise

Today we finally got to venture into the juicy side of Costa Rica, exploring and learning about the banana and pineapple plantations. These two supply chains we saw today are very contrasting to those of coffee plantations. For one coffee needs to go through way more processes than bananas or pineapples do. They need to be picked, then cleaned, dried, roasted, and packaged. To get the coffee you see in stores or coffee shops, it has to go through a lot of steps first. While for bananas, they just need to plant the shoot, provide the right nutrients, and wait for it to produce a bunch, which then gets chopped down and exported to stores. This process is much simpler than coffee. Pineapples are similar in that the process is much easier but it requires a longer amount of time as it takes one whole year to produce a single pineapple fruit. It is definitely worth it though as that was the best pineapple i’ve ever tried.

Both of the plantations we visited today, pride themselves in being organic. They don’t use any chemicals in producing their fruit, guaranteeing customers a truly organic Costa Rican product. This is always a plus for customers when they are looking to buy their fruit or any other produce.

The banana plantation we visited was a family business and we got to meet the lovely women of the family and learn all about the history and production of bananas. During the pandemic, they had to find different ways of making profit off of their bananas and plaintains because tourists were no longer coming. The family overcame this challenge by coming up with new ways to use the plaintains and sell them to other businesses or restaurants. This was able to pull them through until tourists were able to visit again.

In a world where I would live in Costa Rica and be a plantation worker, I would definitely choose to work on a coffee plantation. In comparison to bananas and pineapples, I think there is less hard labor as most of the time the plants are eye level or somewhere around there. While on pineapple plantations, you would have to plant every individual fruit by hand and pick them all as well by bending down and constantly picking up the heavy pineapples. This seems extremely draining in the hot, Costa Rican sun. Don’t even get me started on bananas. For bananas, you would have to machete the whole tree down and carry the heavy bunch of bananas all the way to wherever they keep them. This sounds even harder than the pineapples so i’ll just stick to coffee then.

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