After many wrong turns and mixed directions on the maze of streets that make up the Malagalpa outskirts we stopped to ask for directions. A helpful local directed us to another coffee cooperative, where the owner told us the organization we were looking for was nowhere nearby. It would be quite some driving to find them.
But the organization we were at did similar work, and soon we found ourselves engaged in exactly the conversation we'd been hoping to have, just with someone else. What followed was a long discussion about the political and cultural realities facing Nicaraguan farmers and others in the industry. AMRDI is here to collect as much data as possible about the on-the-ground realities of coffee cultivation, and this stop wound up being a valuable one.
Then it was back up to the hills, to the communities where pickers and growers live, for another few hours of asking questions and filling survey results. Like yesterday, by evening it was dark and we had more than two dozen more survey samples. The flavor of the interviews were much different, this being a community of coffee pickers rather than small-scale growers, which gave us one more perspective on what the reality is in coffee communities.
At latest count we have collecting 40 samples for our survey (with some intriguing results so far) which means Matt and Alyssa have been doing A LOT of chatting in Spanish. We are hoping for as many more as possible before the week is out, from different places and different sectors of the production cycle. Tomorrow we head out to a new region for us to meet with a cooperative also wrestling with sustainability and poverty, so once again it will be a sharp new day of coffee questions.