As it is with a number of developing projects, Humans of San Luis is undergoing some changes – and we want to keep you updated. Because the objective of this photo series is to focus on a range of subjects, from tourists to students to locals, we believe a more appropriate, all-encompassing name for the project would be Humans of UGACR. The intention of Humans of UGACR was, and continues to be, to share the thoughts (epiphanies even), that come from people visiting, working, and living within the community surrounding the University of Georgia Costa Rica campus here in San Luis, Monteverde.
Today, we meet Elisa Mata Leitón, a local coffee farmer who takes time from her gardening and craft-making to weave tour groups through her hillside of coffee plants, banana trees, and root vegetables, informing them of her organic coffee and sugarcane growing processes.
Elisa spills coffee beans into her hands, discussing the natural bean-drying process, which typically takes up to 22 days in the misty Monteverde cloud forest.
How do you feel about your farm being organic?
I feel good because we know that what we are eating and producing isn’t contaminated, for us and for other people.
Why do you enjoy giving tours?
I like to communicate with people even though I don’t speak English, but I like to share with others. It is also a way to provide a bit of income for my family. When Alvaro was well he also used to help me with the tours, but lately it’s almost always me. But I like it.
Do you remember your favorite things that tourists have said to you?
People say that I give a very nice tour and they enjoy being here and extracting [the juice from] the sugar cane. Also [they say] that I am very fortunate to live in such a place with a beautiful view. I like San Luis, I like it here because we have peace and tranquility. If we live in the cities there are many people, a lot of noise and I don’t like this. I like living here.
~ Elisa Mata Leitón
Blog post contributed by Alex Fylypovych, UGA Costa Rica Photojournalism Intern