Live a better life
That is what Kattia and Wilman decided to do when they left their jobs in internet security and accounting in San Jose and moved to the farm they had bought from the family and thought was going to be waiting for their retirement.
They started planting fruit trees, and a couple of years later the had a plantation of the most amazing abundance of citrus fruit on a mountain side.
Kattia is farming hydroponic greens, lettuce and herbs. She carefully seeds and maintains the large greenhouse and supplies the community as well as some of the hotels in the area. Another way that tourism supports the local community.
The citrus plantation they all share the work of because it is hard work. Being completely natural and organic the attention is constant and a lot of the fruit will end up on the ground, feeding the critters and trees. There is a constant composting going on and all of our scraps from the delicious meal would go back to nature.
Did I say it was delicious?
We had a great lunch of the local traditional meal, rice, beans, meat and with freshly picked greens ad herbs and fruit for desert. We ended up spending several hours there, which was lovely but not planned. Our truck broke down and for a mechanic to come help fix it took a couple of hours. Kattia and her daughter cooks for the community on a regular basis. The following week they were hosting 12 people for lunch every day, who were volunteers coming from the US to help work there on their vacations.
We were visiting the cooperative that Kattia and her husband Wilman created to help support the local community of farmers. The cooperative was started in collaboration with the government, who gave the families the opportunity to buy the land inexpensively and thereby giving them a way to not only have a place to live but also make a living by farming. There are 60 farms and 80 families in the collective of small farms and there are 8 “lots” of preserved forest land. Under Wilman’s guidance and the support of funding from the hotel that sponsored our trip, Arenas Del Mar and The Cayuga Collection, and with volunteers through the organization Equilibrium, they are building a school for the children in the community, who would otherwise not have access to education, because they live so far away from a town.