Taking the ferry from Granada to Altagracia, Ometepe

Taking the ferry from Granada to Altagracia, Ometepe

Colin, Rebecca, and I are on the Island of Ommetepe, an incredible tropical island in Lake Nicaragua. We are staying at a former Somoza coffee hacienda right on the edge of the lake. After a leisurely morning we rented bikes and went to the beach Santo Domingo and Ojos de Agua, which was surprisingly not a natural quarry like spring but constructed concrete pools that captured crystal clear water. The path to the pools cut through fields of rice and plantains, two of the main crops grown on the island. The other main crop is coffee.

Rice fields with workers spraying pesticides

Rice fields with workers spraying pesticides

A few weeks ago when I was visiting the island with my Dad and Brian, a guide at the organic coffee cooperative where we were staying told us that most everything was grown with minimum chemicals on the island except the rice, which requires herbicides. Rice is also grown primarily for local markets, whereas the plantains and coffee are export crops.   I thought about that today as we biked past several men on bikes carrying their fumigation backpacks.

Rice drying in front of a small house along the road.

Rice drying in front of a small house along the road.

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