A Green Mountain with a Valley Just Right - The World Food Prize
Oldemar Salazar Picado and Erci Leitón CuveroHemken 32On Erci’s and Oldemar’s parcel, which is just inside the upper gate to Finca La Bella, theygrow mainly coffee, which they sell in Santa Elena, to other families, and to the nearby Eco-Lodge.They also grow tomatoes,sweet peppers, and cilantro.Their hope for the future of theparcel is to make it moreeconomically efficient. Whenthey have volunteers andstudents in their home, theyenjoy spending time talkingwith them, developingrelationships andunderstanding about othercultures. Their kids JuanManuel (April 6, 1986),Gloriana (August 7, 1992), andMelani (January 13, 2000) likeplaying cards and otherwisehanging out with them (Melaniloves to have her picturetaken!). When he’s notworking on the parcel, Oldemar gives tours of the finca to groups of students and to urists. As afamily, they all take part in activities with the church and school.Hugo Picado Cespedes and Odilie Mora BurgosOne must walk along paths through the parcel, divided like rooms by the trees planted to breakthe wind, before getting to Odilie’sand Hugo’s house, where they livewith their grandson Jeison (August4, 1986). They have a wellcultivatedplot with a lot of cropdiversity—principally coffee,but also lettuce, aracache, repullo,radishes, camote, sanlaoria, yucca,tikisje, corn, ñampí, plantains, andbananas. They sell a lot of theirproduce to the nearby Eco-Lodge,where Odilie works. Hugo worksall day in his parcel, but also cutswood for furniture building andgives tours of the farm to studentand tourist groups.José Cruz Salazar and Mavis Trejos GarroJosé and Mavis just moved into their new home on Finca La Bella in May of 2004 and are in theprocess of adding a room in order to be able to host students and volunteers. Mav is hopes to work
Hemken 33with visitors soon because she enjoys tapping into other cultures and especially learning about foodsfrom other parts of the world. Thefamily has one daughter (Emily,October 22, 1992) and two livelysons (Alonzo, June 8, 1996, andAndres, August 14, 1998).Presently, they grow black beanson their parcel and plan to plantmore in the future after they havefinished working on their recentlybuilt home. For now, they workmostly on the weekends in theirparcel. As a family, they likeworking together on their houseand parcel and playing soccer.Mavis is also part of ArtesanasFinca La Bella.José Daniel Chavarría González and Victoria Campos SivajaApproaching José Daniel’s and Victoria’s house from the path near the school in San Luis, onemight here the sounds of music coming from their open door. When they’re not working, José Danielpicks up his 1948classical guitarand strums a fewtunes whileVictoria sings.Occasionally, theypull out theirmaracas andharmonica, too.“We feel verypeaceful in ourhouse,” Victoriasays, and theircontentment thereis apparent. Theywork in theirparcel wheneverthe sun is out.They have coffee,bananas, cilantro,onions, spinach,and eggs, all ofwhich they sell in San Luis and the neighboring towns of Santa Elena, Monteverde, and Cerro Plano.“We like to host volunteers and students because of the friendships we build with them,” Victoriasays. José Daniel adds that he enjoys sharing music and working with them.