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village life

Santa Catalina is not, in general, a village where relationships between the resident expats and the locals run particularly deep or warm so I was touched when Leonida invited me to her home.

Leonida works at Blue Zone, the hostel I used to manage in Santa Catalina.

Leonida's finca* is a good two hour walk away, which is a substantial commute three days a week for a $6 a day job.

Sometimes she stays at a little camp close to the village where her fisherman sons spend time. My first visit was there.

As everywhere there are dogs and poultry underfoot...

...and a brace of fish smoking over the fire.

Her hut at the finca affords greater comforts but there is still no electricity...

...or running water.

So after walking home from work the first task... to collect some fire wood...

...and light a fire... boil water...

...for a well deserved cup of coffee.

Next pick over the rice for dinner. The ducks make short work of the odd fallen grain.



Parakeets are popular pets. Almost everybody has some, stolen from the nest as fledglings.

Hand made sieve.

One of Leonida's prized possessions is a hand operated sewing machine.


* A finca is a plot of land, generally with a garden and some livestock, where people eke out a semi subsistence existence.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Christopher | June 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    I just keep on thinking solar ovens. Those or rocket stoves. Solar ovens would help cut down on the time needed for firewood scrounging, while rocket stoves are much more efficient, making wood go just that little bit further.

  2. Christopher | June 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    These are easy to make, and probably all it needs is someone who can boss all the gringos that turn up into helping make them.

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