Monday, December 31, 2012


New Year's Eve is as good a time as any to look back on the harvests of last year (in Suchitoto, a great year for corn and beans) and forward to the harvests of next year.  The coffee harvest has begun - and on our way back from a trip to Lago Atitlán we saw coffee trees loaded with ripening berries.  Cutting the berries is just the first step in a very long process that ends in my morning cup of strong coffee, but it's the part of that process that brings a welcome bit of money to highlands communities.  Here's a tree ready for cutting:
Further down the road we saw a man who'd been collecting the berries and paying the workers:
I imagine that some of those earnings turned into the firecrackers and fireworks that are about to brighten the skies here and terrify all the dogs, but surely some also will become tortillas and beans and rice, food for the new year.

Just for the joy of it, here's another kind of 2012 harvest, Sheila McShane with a 3-month old baby.  She helped this little girl's disabled mother through her pregnancy and now gets to cuddle this small charmer - part of the rhythm of life in the Clinica Maxeña, Santo Tomas la Union.

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