Xi's Stories: Jasmine meets coffee in Costa Rica
By Bi Mengying and Wang Xinping
People's Daily

On June 3, 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan went to the small town of Santo Domingo de Heredia during a state visit to Costa Rica. Marco Zamora and his wife waited by the gate for their special guests from China.

The Zamoras, both in their 70s, welcomed Xi and Peng, introduced their family members and talked about their daily life.

The Zamora family makes its living as coffee planters. Xi and Peng toured the plantation, asking questions about planting, production and sales.

Picking up a coffee flower and smelling it, President Xi said that it resembles China's jasmine in its look, color, shape and fragrance, the Zamoras' youngest son Alberto Zamora told the People's Daily.

Alberto said he felt a close connection between the Chinese people and the Costa Rican people because of Xi's comparison, even though the two countries are on different sides of the world.

"President Xi is like an agreeable old acquaintance, even one of our family," Alberto said.

President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan visit the Zamoras, a rural family during his state visit to Costa Rica, June 3, 2013. Photo shows Xi learning the growth of coffee plants. (Photo:Xinhua)

Xi was treated to home-made coffee and fried dumplings at the family's backyard cabin. He told the family that China and Costa Rica signed agricultural product trade agreements during his visit and that more high-quality agricultural products like coffee, dairy produce and pineapples would be exported to China from Costa Rica.

During the talks, Xi said that he had worked as a farmer in a village for many years. He said as he moved through jobs in counties, municipalities, provincial and central government, he always visited the countryside to know farmers' basic requirements and real feelings.

He stressed it was important to visit rural areas to understand the people's needs. Helping rural residents escape poverty was an important task for the Chinese government, he said.

"The Chinese leader being proud of once being a farmer impresses and inspires us," Alberto said.

(Translated by Chen Rui; Edited by Sun Tianren and Dong Feng)