March is famed in Nicaragua for unbearable heat, and León famed for one of the hottest of hot cities.  I braced myself for the beginning of March, although with a short trip to Honduras in the middle of the month and some very unusual cool nights and rains, it has been quite livable.

Early in March three McCloud brothers from the Salt Spring Coffee Roasting Co in Canada came.  We’ve laughed at this road sign just outside of Matagalpa the last couple times they’ve come; this time we took the time to stop and play around a bit.

In La Pacaira, an arid mountainous region of northwestern Nicaragua, Rosa Emilia shows me the remains of a greenhouse she built to start tomato seedlings from seeds she got from the government agricultural agency.  “I sewed every scrap of fabric I could find down to all our underwear,” she joked.

During the drive up to Tegucigalpa, Honduras we followed this truck full of brightly colored cashew fruits (mareñon). There were also people along the road selling bags of the fruit to make juice or suck on the fibrous fruit.  The juice leaves a bitter aftertaste that I don’t like, although I do think they are fantastically beautiful fruits.

Andres Contaris from Democracy Now en Español and Dionicia Diaz, the “grandmother of the resistance” at a rally in front of a court in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

A leguminous tree at the model farm in Honduras, latin name is Tefrosis, that fixes double the amount of nitrogen (8 ounces per root nodule) that the average leguminous species fixes.

Adobe surrounded by barbed wire, the Guatemalan appropriate architecture for zones prone to earthquakes.

Brigido Sosa showing me how to douse for water using a flexible wire.  If you concentrate and walk slowly, the wire twists until it’s doubled over when you cross an underground current of water.  This was the second time I have tried dousing; the first was at a NOFA farming conference in 2002.  This time the wire didn’t cross over entirely for me, but it did begin to arch upward.

A member of a women’s savings and loans initiative at the Juan Francisco Paz Silva Cooperative in Achuapa showing off her bank statement with her deposits.  The project is financed by purchasers of the community- and fair trade sesame oil produced in the cooperative.

A pineapple plant in Lagartillo, Achuapa

A window detail made from colored bottles in a cob house that Oscar and Maria, a couple in Lagartillo are building.  The house is build over an enormous tank that will store water from the rainy season all through the summer drought.

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