Community Tree Planting in La Nueva Esperanza

A local acquaintance, Yocasta, contacted me regarding planting trees in neighborhoods where residents were relocated after the earthquake of April, 2016. In many instances the residents received donated houses because they lost everything during in the earthquake, but these new housing projects typically have little to no existing vegetation.
Yocasta was interested in helping residents improve their new homes by planting trees, so she reached out to Planet Drum to work directly with local community residents. We chose to work with native fruit-producing trees hoping the fruit would motivate  the residents to care for, maintain, and water the trees.
Yocasta’s first contacts are located near the Interamerican School in La Nueva Esperanza (The New Hope) neighborhood. We delivered 35 trees from the greenhouse and arrived with volunteers, tools, and pre-mixed soil. We decided to work in the afternoon so that more of the residents would be around to pitch in to help with the work.
The residents were eager to receive trees, and watched intently as we planted an example in one of their backyards. Then we split into groups and planted the rest of the trees throughout the neighborhood. During the course of the afternoon, all of the trees were planted by volunteers with help from the residents.

Tifrah gets a tree ready to plant while a local resident finishes digging the hole.
Camile and Julia watch as a resident of La Nueva Esperanza digs a hole.
Planting trees in La Nueva Esperanza housing project.
The trees we planted were the only vegetation in La Nueva Esperanza housing project.

Photos by Clay Plager-Unger.

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