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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2011-08-18 21:35:11
Subject: Coffee Plant Nursery For Sale

Thought I'd let you in on a Honduran Mountain Man inside joke, that I just caught onto today after almost six years of living here.

Across the highway lives a man adept at planting coffee shrubs in little plastic bags filled with dirt. But to call him a coffee grower would miss the mark. He's really an astute real estate broker. You see, this man has tapped into the city slicker desire to escape the rat race and is capitalizing on it quite well.

Our highway connects the two major cities in Honduras. On it you'll see traffic daily, mostly traveling among the major populations centers. Honestly, I'd be entertaining suicidal thoughts if I had to make that drive more than once a month. So our local coffee guy helps the depressed commuter by offering an escape.

It's not really an escape, but it looks like one. In the last five years, five small plots of land, each less than an acre have come up for sale along a quarter mile stretch of the highway. More than that are for sale but you wouldn't know it as there are no signs and no online MLS listings. So the coffee man dresses up the land with some poles, a shade covering, and hundreds of plastic bags filled with dirt and sprouting coffee seeds. The land is sold in each case and quite rapidly by Honduran standards, where land and homes might go up for sale years before a deal is closed. Thanks to the coffee guy for flipping land so quickly.

In none of the previous four sales did the coffee nursery continue once the land was sold. In order to do that, the owner must either tend the coffee nursery and probably never make a sale. In that case the city dweller must give up his lucrative day job and live like the poor do on the mountainside. The other case is to hire someone trustworthy, which is nothing short of winning the Texas Lotto, and hope there are enough sales to cover his salary (not going to happen, everybody in this area knows how to plant a seed).

In effect, the land is sold, title changes hands and the city man goes on living his life of commuting between crime filled cities. The land continues to be used as it was before, mostly vacant but cattle might graze on it from time to time.

So if you're driving the highways in Honduras and you see "Se Vende Vivero de Cafe" on a roadside sign, keep driving and have a private laugh. Maybe pray for the poor soul desperate enough to buy it.

Makes me wonder about all those cattle ranches for sale in Texas.

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