Standing among rusted coffee trees, María Idalia Martínez, 9 years old, accompanies her sister and mother to cut coffee on a plantation in Ataco, Ahuachapán. María hasn’t finished first grade, and this year is not attending school. Her mother just moved to the zone to take care of the girl’s grandmother, an elderly woman who cannot make it on her own. On the farm, 25 lbs of cut coffee is paid at $1.25 dollars, the usual price paid throughout the country. Idalia cuts about 100 lbs per day, more than her own body weight. In various coffeehouses in San Salvador, an 8 oz cup of coffee can cost more than $2 dollars. One cup usually contains 14 beans of roasted coffee. This is equivalent to, more or less, 112 grains of Arabica coffee. Given that each coffee cherry has two beans, Idalia would cut 56 cherries (as she holds in her hands above) to make a cup. She is paid a little more than one cent (USD) for the 56 cherries, 155 times less than their cost in a store.
(via Fotos: Las mejores fotos de 2013 | ElFaro.net | caption translated by guatepolitics)