Friday, September 26, 2008

Yorkin Indigenous Reservation

While in Puerto Viejo, we arranged a tour of the nearby Yorkin indigenous reservation. Here, Bri-Bri indigenous people run a centre to promote traditional life on the reservation. It was quite a trek: after a couple of hours on two bone-crunching bus rides, we boarded a small boat that was to take us up the river to the reservation. It was just the two of us, no other tourists in sight. It felt like a real adventure!

This is the "Estibrawpa" centre, run by a co-operative of women from the community. The aim is to strengthen the community and foster their traditions.

We took a walk around the centre, through the jungle to the river. Our guide, Cesar, took this photo of the two of us. Back at the Estibrawpa, we were given some delicious (and vegan!) typical food. Here´s Rach enjoying it!

Childcare Costa Rican style! This baby is the same age as Regan and Paul´s baby, Eden.

One of the highlights was learning about the chocolate making process. Cocoa is one of the crops the Bri-Bri grow around the centre, along with Banana and many other fruits. It grows in pods, like this one. Inside, the beans are surrounded with a white jelly-ish flesh, which is quite nice (just don´t eat the beans - as we did - which are not nice!).

After the beans have been fermented for six days, and dried in the sun for a day or so, they´re roasted and ground, just like coffee.

Then the tricky bit; the husks are sifted out. They get fed to the chickens!

Then you have to grind the crushed beans in a sort of mincer. It turns into a thick paste. This is pretty bitter if you eat it!

The best way to consume the chocolate (I think) is to mix it with hot water and sugar. Lovely! Pretty high in caffeine though we think; I had a terrible headache afterwards!

Also tastes pretty good mixed with sweetened milk and with a banana dipped in!


All in all, it was a fantastic experience: probably the best thing we´ve done so far. The people were very welcoming and really friendly. They wanted to know all about England!


1 comment:

kavvy17 said...

blimey you both have been busy in such a short while.
great pics and stories love the spade!!
also love the chocolate making, how cool is that!
look forward to more pics at stories, take care
Mark kav x