07 Feb 2013

The AGM, and the ‘Outing’ to Lopinot

News of Asa Wright

Asa Wright Paranderos. Photo by Mark Hedden/Caligo Ventures.


The Annual General Meeting of the Asa Wright Nature Centre was held on Saturday 10th of November, at Spring Hill.

On the day following the AGM, the Board went on their annual outing to places of environmental and historical interest, and this year visited our neighbours in the Lopinot Valley.

The first stop was at the top end of the Valley, at Las Lapas, the estate of our colleague in sustainability Cyril Cooper, who showed us the cocoa and coffee he was growing, and explained the differences of the varieties of cocoa and coffee grown. Upon departure, each visitor was presented with a small bag of ground coffee and a piece of concentrated “Sabor Criolo” chocolate.

Villa Mariposa’s lunch spread. Photo by Mark Hedden/Caligo Ventures.

We then pulled into one of the most charming little hotels imaginable—Café Mariposa in the village of Lopinot, just opposite the historical original estate house of the Compte de Lopinot. Café Mariposa is operated by the seven Guerrero Sisters and their brother Arthur. They served the Asa Wright Team a magnificent lunch, to the lilting accompaniment of music and song from Arthur and four of the sisters.

After lunch, we toured the historic Lopinot Estate House, which has been beautifully restored, and is set in a lovely, well-maintained park, through which the Lopinot River meanders. Our host in the restored house was the irrepressible Martin Gomez, parandero and raconteur, who presented the history of the estate and the village in the true style of old-time storytelling.

He described each of the musical instruments hanging on the wall–all made by hand in Lopinot–and then shared some among the amazed group. The sesssion ended with a medley of parang and old standards. We didn’t realise how talented we were!

Mr. & Mrs. Cyril Cooper, practitioners the art of forest agriculture.
Photo by Mark Hedden/Caligo Ventures.

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