5/17/18 - Laberinto, Peru

5/17/18 - Laberinto, Peru

Ecuadorian coffee origins

Laberinto. The hospitality. 

Today, I traveled down to Laberinto, Peru, an hour away from where I am staying in Puerto Maldonaldo. I went in search of a particular nut that the Peruvians cultivate in the region, "Castana." In The States, we know this as a Brazilian nut - it tastes very similar to a pecan. 

When I first arrived to Laberinto, I was stunned by the horrid conditions in the city. The thoughts that always seem to surface in my mind quickly begin to rise again, "What did I do to deserve the life that I've been able to live over the past 22 years?" 

Focusing back on the task at hand, I went through the city of Laberinto and met this small group of people sitting down in the shade. To break the ice, I told them: "Sorry, my Spanish is horrible. But I have a few questions." They immediately started laughing and welcomed my questions. I asked them if they knew where Castana is produced in the area? One lady dominated the conversation, and we quickly became friends. She, Dominga was her name, said there was a Castana tree up the road, so we went on a mini excursion. 

After walking up a hill for about a mile, a hike resembling those in Ecuador, we came to a barbed wire fence. We scooted through the fence and came to a beautiful pasture. She pointed at a tree, standing firm 500 yards away. We walked over to it, and she explained the castana tree and nut in great detail. 

Since our excursion, I've conjured up an idea to import the nut into The States. After reading some on the Brazilian nut I see that there are many health benefits to it. It can be used for cosmetic products as well as for dietary reasons. I will explore other options in greater detail. 

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