Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mariposa: Day 2

Today we had a breakfast of ham and cheese croissants and chocolate croissants with fresh fruit. Then we took a guagua (bus) to a remote country village and had a tour of our host family's cocoa farm. After our tour and hike of the cocoa farm we had lunch, prepared by our host family, which consisted of chicken (we have no idea exactly how it was seasoned but it was really good), beans and rice, all cooked over a fire on a home made "stove top".

Throughout our time at the farm we learned the process of creating chocolate. We saw the farm,  tasted fresh cocoa seeds, saw them dried in the sun, then roasted over the open fire, helped mash them in a wooden mortar and pestle, and then drank delicious hot chocolate our hosts made from our mashed cocoa, orange leaf, and cinnamon.

After our delicious lunch, we took the guagua back to the hotel in Río San Juan and had a tour of the town. Afterwards we had two hours of free time in which most of us swam in the ocean and enjoyed the beach. For dinner we walked downtown to an empanada restaurant and experienced conch, crab, mixed seafood, chicken, beef, and cheese & vegetable empanadas. After dinner we learned some of the history of Haiti and the Dominican Republic that informs current living conditions and politics. We made plans for our long day tomorrow.

Some facts that we learned tonight: 41% of girls in the DR are child brides; 14% or girls in the DR “marry" before age 15; 40% of girls in the DR are married with kids before age 18. Poor girls living in rural areas are most affected.

-Emily '16
Our host cooking fresh water crabs

Making friends

Walking into the hills to see the cocoa farm

Where the magic happens

Our group helped shell the roasted cocoa beans

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