(03-10-2017) Today was our last day in Puerto Rico. The students had the chance to take a ferry to the beautiful Island of Culebra. Despite getting sea sick on the ferry and almost passing out from dehydration, the trip was definitely worth it. We started off by visiting a local business on the Island to learn more about the history of Culebra. From there on, we traveled to Flemenco beach, one of the most beautiful and breath taking beaches on Earth. While I was on the Island, I learned that ethical marketing is less of a marketing strategy and more of a philosophy that informs all marketing efforts. I noticed that there were rarely any billboards with advertisements. It was more so on cars and buses. In my opinion, that’s a great way of advertising. Since almost everyone is out on the streets at some point, advertisements on vehicles are more noticeable. I visited India about a year ago and the people there used the same advertising technique as well and I think it’s actually quite smart.
Today was our last full day in the beautiful Puerto Rico and we finally made it to the island of Culebra
Today the students were given the opportunity to visit the University of Puerto Rico in Utuado. While we were there, we met with some of the professors and learned their way of coffee production. We even had the chance to interact with some of the students there. The students also got to see and pet the oxen that were used as a form of labor. Using the oxen instead of any other form of labor such as a tractor, reduces the air pollution by a lot. The students were told that 92%-94% of coffee farmers were above the age of 50. This means that the newer generation needs to step it up and start taking care of our environment.
Today we visited the University of Puerto Rico Utuado. This campus was designed more for agriculture with many greenhouses and gardens on campus. When touring the fields we saw how they used oxen as a source of labor. The oxen do not pollute the air and soil as a tractor would and can be more sustainable. I think using animals as a source of labor is good as long as they are treated humanly. During the coffee presentation we learned how most people in the business are over the age of 50 and the number of farmers producing coffee is decreasing. Our speaker said there is a need for younger generations to go into the coffee industry. I believe a coffee plant ion run by millennials would be more likely to use sustainable practices such as growing the coffee in the shade.
Today was our last full day in Guanajuato. I feel like I’ve learned so much on this trip not just about agriculture and science but also about people and other cultures. I felt like we stood out a lot as white Americans who spoke English. In the US I feel like “foreigners” are so common place that they don’t stand out or get noticed. At first I was annoyed at standing out as a foreigner.
As the trip progressed however I realized that it was a good thing we stood out. At first I felt excluded because of the looks and the occasional comment. Then when we went to the school and as we explored the town I realized how close knit the town is and how everyone knows each other so of course new people would stand out. At the schools the students were so friendly and accepting. They didn’t just greet us they made friends with us which is something I don’t think we tend to do in the US. So yes, foreigners don’t stand out in the US but maybe in part its because of our lack of interest and desire into knowing people and making friends not just that we have a diverse culture.