Diego Aguirre is 25 years old and is from Loja, Ecuador. He comes to us through the MESA program (Multilingual Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture). The program links young agriculture students from around the world to sustainable farm in the United States. This is Diego's second farm experience in America. Three years ago, he worked at Garden of Eve farm in Riverhead, New York, which is also a small scale vegetable and animal operation.
He comes from a place called Velcambamba which literally translates to "Holy Valley". Many tourists visit each year because the weather is always a perfect 80 degrees F and the area boasts one of the longest lifespans in the world. Diego's family runs a small farm where they grow coffee, pineapples and tropical trees like mangoes, lemons, oranges, bananas and plantains. His father is a veterinarian specializing in cow fertility and he also teaches at a local University. Diego's mother is a housewife, cooking traditional foods from their farm.
Diego was particularly interested to study under Andrew because we're starting from "scratch" here. When he returns to Ecuador, Diego wants to start an education program for the country people; teaching them how to better market their produce. He also is interested in teaching tourists the traditional cooking and farming techniques of the people of the valley.