This past week, Kat and I worked in the department of ornamentales where ornamental plants are grown, potted, priced and sold. We worked mainly with Anita and Gabby two of the 46 women that work on the farm. Gabby is roughly the same age as Kat and I and has worked on the farm for 2 years. When I asked her what it was like to be a women working in a predominantly male field she said it was complicated. She says there are many jobs on the farm, especially those working out in the fields and sun that women simply don't do. Whether this is persisting tradition or an official rule I'm not sure. Tomorrow Katherine and I are going to watch a film about women in organopónicos which I'm incredibly excited for.
While organopónicos are considered groundbreaking for their cooperative organic food cultivation, I see a lot of tradition around the farm. When the bell for la merienda, or snack, is rung everyone stops work for fifteen minutes during which they enjoy complimentary guava juice and bread filled with a soupy mixture that reminds me of chickpeas. During la merienda everyone seems to have a place. Some eat in the dining hall; others have their bench that they sit on to chat with their friend from another department, and others grab their food and eat in their department. I haven't worked up the courage yet to take a picture of the adorable old men who all sit together on the side of the dining hall with their tin cups and big farmers hats' but after I meet more of them I'll get the picture. Another persisting tradition I see during la merienda is that women always go to the front of the line to receive their food. On our first day Kat and I lined up with all the men since we didn't know this rule and everyone kept motioning for us to move ahead of them. At first, I thought they were just being polite and said we were ok waiting in line, but they were insistent almost to the point of being offended so we went to the front. While I do feel it's an outdated tradition, I don't think I'd mind much if it were implemented at Tim Hotrons. While I sadly do not have a photo of workers enjoying their meriendas, I do have a lot of photos of the ornamentales department that I'm going to post shortly. I've realized that I haven't been ending my entries with any sort of sign off, so I'll just say Hasta luego!