As most of our experiments begin we met at our downtown café. All geared up & ready for our adventure we crowded onto the Link train to the Sea-Tac Airport.
We stopped over in NYC for a short six hour coffee crawl. We sipped our way through some specialty coffee shops we had dreamed of visiting including Toby’s Estate, Blue Bottle & Parlor Coffee.
Caffeinated and full of bagels we boarded the plane to Guatemala City. A handful of hours later and we were arriving at the tiny international airport. We were greeted by our green coffee buyer Oscar Garcia bearing bundles of bananas and off brand saltines. Straight from the airport we boarded a small van that drove through the warm Guatemalan night to the small town of San Pedro Las Huertas, Oscar’s hometown, and our home base for the trip.
Our hotel was occupied by a raucous wedding party so we congregated at Oscar’s house down the street and happily made more coffee to keep ourselves occupied until the wedding cleared out and we could take to our beds after nearly 30 hours of travel.
The next morning when the sun rose we finally were able to view our surroundings. While the volcanoes near the village were erupting we made V60s & Aeropresses in Oscar’s newly constructed house. The light streamed in through the sunroof & we ate our first Guatemalan breakfast. The best parts in my opinion of breakfast in Guatemala are the soft and lightly fried plantains.
After our breakfast we began our journey to Huehuetenango via the Central American Highway 1. Taking a road trip across a country is always a good way to familiarize yourself with a culture. We saw feral dogs, majestic mountains; houses that appeared partially constructed. We later discovered that the re-bar poking out of almost every roof represented the homeowner’s dreams of expanded construction.
After eight hours of driving on a speed-bump filled highway we arrived at El Reposo, a truck stop of sorts about 10M from Mexico. Don Aurelio Villatoro was waiting there for us with his 90’s Toyota pickup truck. He happily took our luggage & neatly tied it into the truck bed. We then loaded up, two of us in the cab and nine of us in the bed, ready for a cozy two-hour ride through the quickly falling Guatemalan night.