At Leidy and Raul’s home on the farm in rustic Bijagua, Costa Rica, you will experience how local cheese is made: from the udders of the cow to a piece on your plate. You will participate in the process from start to finish, or as much as you would like to get involved. Milking the cows starts around 7:30am, during which Raul and Leidy will explain to you how they care for the cows. These animals are a very important part of Raul’s life. While the milk settles, Raul will show you around the farm. You will see the pigs, horses, birds and chickens that make the ecosystem sustainable, as well as banana, water apple, coffee plants and more. Then you will go back inside Raul and Leidy’s hand-built wooden home and finish the cheese-making process. As you rest a bit and enjoy the cooler climate, Leidy will prepare you lunch with a side of tasty cheese- try it both fresh and fried! Feel free to ask to purchase some for the road. Oh, and don’t forget to also try the cream!
"We like this life. We live in the countryside because it is a good way to live in peace."
Raul’s passion is caring for animals and Leidy is proud to be able to contribute to the family’s major source of income. They enjoy being able to spend a lot of time together, while also raising their family and doing good work. They did not have this opportunity in the past. Raul thinks that it is important for people to be able to live independently and use their passion. Their vision for the future is to produce more milk and have better quality cows and land. They do not want to grow and have 100 cows, they just want to be able to maintain their land and farm the best way they can. They want to send their 2 girls to college and be able to have a livelihood when they are too old to work.
Leidy and Raul grew up living on the countryside alongside farm animals. Raul used to work in hotels and construction jobs, however, he did not find much satisfaction in this work. Furthermore, he was away from his family a lot. When his two-year old twin girls were born, he realized that he often left the house before they woke up and by the time he got home they were asleep. He decided to change his lifestyle and follow his dream of taking care of his own farm. He bought a house with Leidy in Bijagua in a place where he could take care of animals and be with his family. Leidy learned how to make Cheese when she was 10 years old so naturally she began to do this again on their new farm. They found so much demand from their neighbors and local community members that it became her business for the past 8 years.