I met 65-year-old Don Francisco after spending a couple hours with Silverio Mamallacta, one of the Runa technicians, touring nurseries and chakras owned by families from the community of Lucianta. I listened intently as Silverio gave the families practical advice in Kichwa to improve the productivity of their land and shared a large stalk of sugar cane with everyone. The group finally dispersed, and Silverio and I went to Don Francisco’s house, where a pot of guayusa, complete with stems and all, was heating up over a wood fire. I asked Don Francisco a series of questions about guayusa and Kichwa culture, with the help of Silverio as my Spanish-Kichwa interpreter, and we all drank chicha de chonta (a traditional fermented drink made out of an orange-colored fruit called chonta). Below is an excerpt of our conversation, with my comments in italics.