Tuesday, April 8, 2008

San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica

San Marcos de Tarrazú is small, but bustling coffee town. Thousands of small, family farmers live in and around the town, which is surrounded by a set of steep, dense mountains. In old, sturdy trucks, farmers haul down their picked beans to mill. Together they form the second largest coffee co-op in Costa Rica— Coopetarrazú.


A link to Manuel's story:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2004315159_starbuckscoop30.html


Marcella Pineda, 21, picks coffee with her husband, not pictured, at Roberto Naranjo and Victoria Zúñiga Naranjo's coffee farm outside San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica. The Pineda's and other seasonal workers at the farm are indigenous Panamanians from the Ngöbe Buglé tribe, of Panama's Bocas del Toro province. They travel and work as families, and return each year to the farm for work.


(From right) Victoria Zúñiga Naranjo, 37, walks with her son Martin Naranjo, 12, on a road of their coffee farm outside of San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica. The hills of their family's farm are steep, and dense with coffee plants and other vegetation, including shade, plantain, lemon, avocado, and banana trees. The various plants reduce soil erosion and protect the coffee from sun and rain. Naranjo said she and her son Martin are best friends.


Pancho Guerra carries a sack of freshly picked coffee, weighing almost 100 pounds, up a steep hillside at Roberto Naranjo and Victoria Zúñiga Naranjo's coffee farm outside San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica.


Coffee plants, trees from the banana family, and shade trees cover a steep hillside at the Montes de Oro coffee farm outside of San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica.


Aníla Morales, 18, picks coffee at Roberto Naranjo and Victoria Zúñiga Naranjo's coffee farm outside San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica. Morales and the seasonal workers at the farm are indigenous Panamanians from the Ngöbe Buglé tribe, from Panama's Bocas del Toro province.

Maribel Quintero, 13, (wearing red) and Matilda Quintero, 15, carry the plastic buckets they use to pick coffee at Roberto Naranjo and Victoria Zúñiga Naranjo's coffee farm outside San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica. Most of the seasonal coffee field workers are not Costa Rican, but Nicaraguan or indigenous Panamanians. The workers at this farm are mostly families, who travel together for work from Panama's Bocas del Toro province.


Betilda Abrego, 16, washes garments at the Montes de Oro coffee farm near San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica. Abrego and other seasonal workers at the farm are indigenous Panamanians from the Ngöbe Buglé tribe of Panama's Bocas del Toro province. They travel and work as families, and return each year to work at the farm.

Roberto Naranjo checks the tanks that supply water to his workers' homes at his coffee farm in the steep hills outside of San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica. Starbucks requires farmers to provide potable water to their workers.


San Marcos de Tarrazú, in the central highlands of Costa Rica, is a coffee town, producing millions of pounds every year. The town is located near mountains where high-altitude, gourmet beans grow well.


CoopeTarrazú, Costa Rica's second largest coffee co-op, has its headquarters in San Marcos de Tarrazú. The co-op provides services including a gas station, credit union, a grocery store and farming supplies depot.


Aurelia Abrego, 6, wearing traditional clothing of the Ngöbe Buglé tribe, walks along the roadside at Roberto Naranjo and Victoria Zúñiga Naranjo's coffee farm, Montes de Oro, outside San Marcos de Tarrazú, Costa Rica. Indigenous Panamanian workers travel to coffee farms as families every season.


Marcella Pineda, 21, picks coffee with her husband, not pictured. The Pineda's and other seasonal workers at the farm are indigenous Panamanians from the Ngöbe Buglé tribe, of Panama's Bocas del Toro province

8 comments:

Tinky said...

very cool pictures! u rock!

vava

Dana Felthauser said...

What was it like working in Costa Rica? I'm working on a project right now on undocumented immigrants and it's tough because of language barriers, how did you work around that? Time for me to learn Spanish. Awesome work by the way, I bet your buds at the Times were happy :)

Ned said...

Hey Erika,

I'm writing a paper for my college class on Starbucks. I've chosen this farm to write about in my paper. Is there any information you can share about the working conditions these workers have to deal with? Also, anything about the surrounding economy would be very helpful. Thanks

Ned

Erika Schultz said...

Hi Ned,

Just send your contact information and I'd be happy to help.

Erika

Alistair said...

Hi Erika I'd like to talk to you about your trip to this coffee farm but I can't find your email anywhere on your sites?

Erika Schultz said...

CloverCricket@hotmail.com

Walter ? said...

Muy interesantes tus fotos, se ve que eres buena en esto. A mi me agrada mucho lo que es el diseño gráfico, tal vez algún día te muestre mis trabajos. Tengo algunos sitios, por si te interesan:

http://tarrazu.wordpress.com/

Espero también tus comentarios

Carlos Gomez - Costa Rica said...

Erika, great pictures. I was there in January, and was impacted by the harsh life the children go through, specially when they are moving from one farm to the other, when they don't get hired for 2-3 days and a group of us in Costa Rica want to set up a shelter in San Marcos and run it from January to March. Do you have more pics, or info.

All images copyright Erika Schultz or The Seattle Times