Monday, February 10, 2014

FTV February 10

After our first day in Colombia, I must say it lives up to a different reputation to what I had expected. I expected the area to be unsafe and not in the best condition. However, the city of Cartagena is absolutely stunning, the old buildings are beautiful, the food is delicious, and the people are very friendly. I was able to try my first cup of genuine Colombian Coffee yesterday and it was absolutely phenomenal. I’m not exactly sure what kind of coffee it was since the menu was in Spanish, but it was still delicious, I’ll definitely have to bring some home with me.
Today I plan to go on the city tour excursion planned so I can get a better lay out of the land. Also going on today is a soccer game versus a Colombian Team. It was put together very last minute so I’m not sure of the details. Good luck to the MMA soccer team and I’ll let you know how my second day in Colombia goes tomorrow.

Colombian coffee is often regarded as some of the highest quality coffee in the world. Colombia has traditionally grown Arabica beans and its unique geography makes it perfectly suited for producing a delicious, high quality brew.  Colombia is bisected by the Andes Mountains which splits into three parallel cordilleras (mountain ranges) as they run south to north. Much of the nation’s coffee is grown in this area. The small nation, about three times the size of Montana4 contains two of South America’s five “biodiversity hotspots”. The Tumbes-Choco hotspot occupies Colombia’s entire coast, while the Tropical Andes hotspot covers nearly all its mountain ranges. In fact, Conservation International calls the Colombian Andes the “richest and most diverse region on earth,” noting that the whole of the tropical Andes chain contains one sixth of the world’s plant species in only one percent of its land area.
No one knows exactly when coffee arrived in what is now Colombia. Some think the bean came with Jesuit priests in the seventeenth century, by 1860, coffee had emerged as the dominant export crop, and shortly thereafter, tariffs on coffee exports had become the main source of government revenues. The National Federation of Coffee Growers, an industry association which represents the nation’s coffee producers has been responsible for creating a name for Colombian coffee with their well-known spokesman, the fictional, charismatic Juan Valdez.  Deforestation as well as soil and water contamination from overuse of pesticides is among two of the environmental problems facing the country. Soil erosion has become a significant problem for some farmers as well. Sustainable coffee production holds great promise in addressing these issues, and has the potential to protect species that occur nowhere else in the world.

 Math Monday:
Speaking of coffee here are some challenges for you to try:
Coffee by the Pound

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