HUATUSCO - Harvest time
Last year I missed the coffee harvest in the farms of Chiapas. When I finally reached the region of Soconusco (the setting of my new novel), I found that they had already picked all the cherries. I was too late! The temporary workers had already left to look for other "chambas" (work). The “galleras” (housing) where the workers reside were empty. The only workers that were left and that I was able to interview were working to clean the land.
Even so, I learned a lot. I studied the industry and the process, from planting to exporting the coffee. I interviewed farmers, administrators, stewards, caporales and historians. I visited farms, processing and packing plants and I filled my suitcases with books, newspapers, photos and articles. The greatest treasure I found was inspiration J But truth to be told: I still wanted to see the harvest.
This year I returned for that very purpose but this time I visited the coffee zone of Huatusco, in my beloved state of Veracruz. The Huatusco region is the largest coffee producer in the entire state. Due to its privileged geographical situation and the factors such as soil, climate type and altitude, the Huatusqueño coffee presents the exact characteristics of a good high altitude coffee. I had the privilege to taste it freshly roasted and ground. It was exquisite.
Another fact that I found interesting was the presence of the Italians in that part of the state. At the end of the 19th century, waves of Italians arrived and injected a more Italian flavor to the place, with Italian customs and languages. Just as the Germans planted their coffee plantations in Chiapas (the subject of my novel), so the Italians came to this region to work and harvest the field that today belongs to the route called "Ruta Veracruzana del Café".
In Huatusco I was finally able to see the harvest and I also interview the temporary pickers, whose photos and videos I will be sharing in this blog. I want you, my dear readers,to go hand in hand with me in the creation of this, my fourth novel. Above all, I want you to enjoy this stage of research as much as I am enjoying it.