How is life for employees during each coffee season
In the majority of the farm, including ours, the coffee season is the time a year that everybody is waiting for. We called it ¨El Carnaval del Corte¨ in Spanish or the coffee carnival. Many people from around the country travel to the coffee farms to collect the coffee. It´s a very enthusiastic time because many people get employed and are able to save money for school supplies, save to harvest corn or beans in their own lands and cover other needs they might have. Reason why coffee brings happiness to many since it´s synonym of prosperity.
In farm that are located along the main road, workers have the possibility to be transported from their houses everyday. But, in the rest of the farms, like ours which is 7 km away from the main road, coffee pickers have to stay during the week and sleep in bunks with their family members. The good thing about this is that they are able to create bonds with other families and children can play soccer or baseball together. During their stay food is included for all workers, this goes for those who travel as well. A regular meals consist of rise, beans, a big tortilla and a cup of coffee. Also, a small grocery in the farms gives them access to other goods and products for their daily needs. Once or twice a week a special meal is given called ¨la mejora¨ as an incentive to all our workers. For example, farm that have cattle provide their workers with cheese and sour cream during la mejora, but farms that don´t, like ours, make soups or other dishes such as spaghetti with red sauce.
Another great aspect about each season is that farms have their own families that work for them each year but is common for farmers to travel to the main city, Matagalpa, and other places to look for new workers every week. This is due to the vast jobs available and the lack of workers around. For some workers, picking coffee means leaving home and manage the rain during the day but it also means creating bonds with other families, having more income to develop their dreams, and having the joy to see their children go to school with brand new shoes and the rest they need. At the end of each season, workers are invited to celebrate together in order to remember this enjoyable time of plenty.