Friday, June 17, 2016


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 Celebration at the Valparaiso Community Hall

This report was done for the Foundation as during the first 25 years, the dairy was of key importance as it supported Cordell Andersen and family, making possible Cordell being from then--until now, a volunteer managing the Foundation without any wage........and additionally--often when funding wasn't available from the Foundation for some crucial project, it was the business that provided the money--whether by rounding up  older cows and selling for slaughter, or selling a few pines trees. Additionally it increased the number of needy people employed up to 39 full time & another 30 part-time, opening up the way for many of them also  helping their own people in significant ways.  Furthermore this has multiplied over the years as many of them have gone on to be very successful as we have seen in cases like Miguel Max (go back to Event #2 & see his house just inserted), Crisanto Chiquin, the entire Valparaiso Community, and Miguel Angel Ortiz, who will be reported on in Event #8  of the recent Supervisory Trip, as we head north of Coban , dropping from 4,600 feet elevation down to 780 ft. into the hot, tropical  Chisec area

As soon as the activity in the Valparaiso Community Hall was over, Miguel Angel Argueta, Manager of the Valparaiso Plantation, invited me to go with him on a tour of the plantation. 

 Big changes were immediately evident as we viewed the plantation from up high on the Chixoy Highway.  

As we wound our way on new roads down into the plantation, homes we built 40 years ago--that have been abandoned, come into view with a bit of sadness, recalling how originally they were constructed to house LDS Welfare Service missionaries in training.  

One that is still in use and in pretty good shape is the "earthquake proof home"  built by Hal Poulsen in 1976, even mysteriously with new paint of our old colors --Thanks, Hal, you did a great job.  

 The new roads, were built by Crisanto Chiquin and his business. As you will recall from the "GIRLS REUNION" Event#4, Crisanto was once one of my "vocational students," and then en employee.  The beautiful fences all over the property are of cement with rebar inside, built by the new owner on a nearby plantation. 

Obviously all new structures are of the best quality imaginable.   

 The lake brought back many fond memories, but sadly the area on the right is devoid of the memorable swimming area we enjoyed for so many years as seen below. 
 The new owner was unaware of it having I'll insert a photo....sort of hoping that it will be created again.

 At the Lake & Central House area, the new owner, Mr. Fernando Jarquin Pira, was waiting for us having arrived from Tecpan in his helicopter.  

Our Tilapia are still there in abundance, and them being such prolific reproducers--providing forage fish for the large-mouthed black bass, there should be some huge bass in the lake--maybe next year I'll bring with some fishing gear and get permission to test its waters again!  

 Don Fernando is building himself a home over the water, but not as we did with wood, rather termite/rot proof steel. 

Chepina was with us on the tour, seeing the transformation of where she grew up. 

 Our old barn (the "troja") that was almost destroyed in a horrific fire, and then attacked by the 1976 earthquake, is still there, now turned into a metal working shop for all the construction. 

The feed storage room, also used for my first classes with workers, and for the first religious meetings, is now a wood working shop--with at least my old table saw still in use.

The Central House is being transformed too, most of it torn down, but the roof of our Cultural Hall is still standing....but likely not for long.  

The back part shows a portion of the old wall left, that I was told will be part of the new structure.  Little bits and pieces of the past are visible, like a piece of the shower and laundry rooms, etc. 

The building for calves, heifers,  maternity rooms, and rooms for doing implants of embryos into cows and heifers--imported from Canada from what Don Fernando called "the best Jersey bull in the world," is in the area below the Central House. Views of this large building are seen below.

 Don Fernando then invited me to go with him in his Kawasaki ATV, to tour the plantation.Aura had been standing guard duty, keeping it from being car-jacked, until we were ready.  The rest of the tour party followed in 4x4 Majindra diesel pickups, manufactured in India. 

We are seeing facilities that fill what was our soccer field. Cows near calving are taken care of here.  

One near her time--when she will be moved to the large building already seen, has around her neck an electronic device.........

.........that transmits constantly to the main computer whatever is happening, including daily production of each cow recorded on individual records with all information about each cow--you will see all the cows have one. 

 We are following the road that leads to the production center in the same area where we built the milking parlor/milk processing room, etc. 44 years ago.

 This is the heart of the plantation built on the ruins of our milking parlor/milk room, etc. In the distance is the Valparaiso Community, seen through the typical smokey environment of this time when the Indians are burning in preparation to planting their corn as the rainy season begins.  

 Here is a close-up looking towards the community, with the LDS Chapel dominating the scene, but another large structures on the right/above is a  chapel of another church, as  in the area there are both Catholic, and Evangelical chapels in the community.

 Here is the production center, the large opening on the right where the cows exit after milking.  The door on the left is the entrance to the Milk Processing Center (at least 10 times as large as our milk processing room) .  The small door in the middle is the entrance where tourists will be able to observe through glass--on one side observing the milking, and on the other, through glass, observing the production of all milk products.  Tourists will be taken on tours in ATV's, and be able to purchase products and souvenirs--VP caps, T-shirts, etc.

 Don Fernando will now show us the milking parlor.........

......24 cows can be milked at a time....compared to our 4 milking buckets....

 ...production information will be transmitted to the Central Computer Room, nearby.  I asked Don Fernando what their average production per cow is.  He replied, "Between 17-18,"  lets say, 17.5 liters/day/cow.

 I explained that,  "When we took over the dairy in 1972, production was 3.5 liters/day/cow.....and we went to work solving problems and improving the quality of the herd through artificial insemination, etc. and eventually ended in 1993 with 16.5 liters/day/cow!"   This wasn't too far off what they are achieving today, and Don Fernando was very kind in giving us a lot of credit for having lifted the dairy to a new revolutionary level--and that he would be boosting it to a new level! 

......and then the cows exit to spend the night in a large covered facility where as much feed as they want will be provided, and then they will be there for the early morning milking.

 Here Don Fernando showed us the facility which uses sprouted  barley as an important part of his cow's diet--QUITE FASCINATING. 

  The system is to put the barley to soak for 24 hours, then drain...........

 ........and spread in trays ...........

 ......... within 8 days it is ready to use as feed.

 We then gathered at the offices with others that make up Fernando's business team. It was good to be given some credit for lifting the dairy to a much improved level, and nice to see that certain aspects of our past are being incorporated into the new corporation, like:  The name "VALPARAISO,"  ........
 .......our HAPPY COW, TYPICAL RIBBON & MEDAL, that was the my design on our disposable milk bag which was the first such used in Guatemala--and an important aspect of what we did to save the business.

  Don Fernando was always very generous, talking as though we were partners in the enterprise--and invited me be in Coban the next day to cut the ribbon to begin their sales at the Magdalena Commercial Center.  He explained he lived in Tecpan, where their Center of Operations is found at his VISION PLANTATION, where they produce the goat yogurt sold in Coban as you will see. 

  A few days later we visited in Tecpan where, near the famous restaurant KATOK, that is also part of his family's operations, in front of which they have one of their sales wagons, seen below.
Just a short distance down the highway is found the
......shown in the following photographs.

The products sold in the Coban area come from here right now, with goat yogurt being a specialty.  Within 3 months, with the facilities finished in Valparaiso, production will then experience an immense increase with products from Valparaiso.

 So, the next day, May 24th, we are in Coban to symbolically begin the Valparaiso  Milk Products sales in Coban.  We are traveling west approaching the Magdalena Commercial Center...........
..........with McDonalds being an obvious part of it-- behind which will be the Valparaiso sales wagon.....

 .....but, first a few glances of the Commercial Center.

We have arrived and step inside to examine this small beginning of what will be a big time commercial project.  Reporters, who have been with us in other events, are with us working on a Documentary that will be shown on TV. 

  This is the goat Yogurt, which is delicious, along with butter and other products from Jersey cows.

We begin with interviews, videos for the documentary on TV.

 Now, getting ready to cut the symbolic ribbon. Don Fernando, the owner, had returned to Tecpan, and so we were accompanied by Miguel Angel, and behind me, his son, who has to do with the management of the operations in Tecpan. The symbolic activity ended with interviews, videos for the documentary--which I was promised a copy of, and hope to eventually share it with all.

 Ready, get set, CUT!  

To end this segment I can't resist inserting a shot of our milk bag, certain key aspects of which are still part of what most likely will be a huge leap up to a new level.
This report was done for the Foundation as during our first 25 years, the dairy supported me and family and made possible us being from then--until now, volunteers managing the Foundation without any wage........and maybe even more than that as often when funding wasn't available from the Foundation for some crucial project, it was the business that provided the money--whether by rounding up the older cows and selling for slaughter, or selling a few pines trees.  


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