Noah travelled to Aponte to touch base with the farmers there and to start thinking about the specifics of our project. Our main contact in Aponte is Fernando "Fercho" Ordonez, a native Inga who represents the local coffee cooperative and is active in overseeing the community's coffee process. On this trip, Noah spent a lot of time talking to members of the community and learning about Inga culture. According to Argentilo, former Inga governor, Inga culture remains very principled, strict, and deeply connected to nature, plant medicine, and the clash between dark and light, and good and evil.
Noah also held a meeting with the 20 specialty coffee growers whose homes have collapsed to propose our project and get their feedback. He was initially met with some resistance, but Fercho's vouching and reassurance that this would be a communal, long term effort led to group discussions on what made the most sense for the community. The initial plan was to build as many houses as our budget could manage in risk free zones, and then lottery them off among the 20 farmers. The plan now, which the farmers proposed themselves, is to buy the four main materials needed for construction- brick, concrete, metal, and roofs- and divide them among the 20 so that they can build their own individual houses.
Noah will be traveling back to Aponte in February to supervise implementation of this project.