Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Finca Hartmann

Ratibor Hartmann, Cindy & Dinorah
On our way to Costa Rica a few weeks ago we made a short detour to Finca Hartmann, in the Chiriqui province of Panamá. We had not been there since our first visit to Panamá in December 2008, and have wanted to return ever since. On that first visit, we met Aliss and her parents Ratibor and Dinorah. Aliss was not present during our recent visit, but her parents were.

We arrived in mid-morning, not the most productive time for birding this location. But Dinorah said we were welcome to take a walk around the property if we wanted, and she would make coffee and hojaldres for us when we returned. Three of their several friendly and enthusiastic dogs accompanied us along the trails through the forest and amongst the coffee trees. Marco shot some video of the property as we walked, and also of some beautiful birds and beans.

In the mid-20th century, Ratibor and his brother, Armagedón Hartmann, worked as guides for Alexander Wetmore during his annual scientific expeditions to Panamá. As we drove up, Ratibor was sitting on his porch with a 3-foot high stack of nature books at his side. One can only try to imagine the contribution he has made to ornithology. He and Dinorah were thoroughly engaging and pleased to describe the work that has been done on their land to create their shade-grown coffee. We hope to return soon for more of the delicious coffee and hojaldres, and of course to spend more time birding.

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