While we were at the trapiche Don Carmen, Victor shared with us a very personal story about his life and the struggles he faced, including not being able to go to school past third grade. This was very touching and really gave us a new perspective and new awareness for the privileged life we live. He taught us the importance of leaving room for artisanal ways of doing things in our ever advancing technological world. He asked us a very eye-opening question saying along the lines of, “What happens one day if we wake up and all the technology is gone and the only thing left is this [the artisanal ways of making sugar cane].” This made us think a lot about if advancing technology is always the best way to go and if maybe it is also important to keep our old ways of doing things. Especially because of our environment and how it is affected by all the machinery that comes with advancing technology. We also met Don Carmen, the 100 year old man. He shared his story of how when he was little his parents didn’t provide for him, but they did teach him how to work in the trapiche. When he grew up he was able to work in the trapiche and was able to provide for his family. For this reason, he believes that knowing how to work was much more valuable than what they lacked to give him in his childhood. Both their stories’ were meaningful because they both showed how no matter what situation they were put in they were able to use the resources they had in order to have a fulfilling life and in order to provide for themselves and their families. Later we met with some of the community’s elders. We met Ismael who shared a different perspective on conservation and the protection of wild boars. In his opinion all they cause is destruction to his crops that he worked so hard to grow. Even though he was a leader who contributed so much to his community with all the land he donated, he can still have a different perspective on what is best for Rancho Quemado. Today we heard a lot of different people’s stories, and this really helped us understand how a community has so many different parts that help it succeed together.
~Brea and Kenzie