Eco-Amigos, Eco-City anniversary, and Eco-Noticias.

January 14-18, 2008                

There is an overload of tree planting. With a strong force of volunteers, we tackled some of the biggest sites Planet Drum has ever planted. The reward of collecting seeds, germinating, seed bed work, transplanting in the greenhouse, weeding, watering, and tending to trees exploded into fruition.

On Monday, the Bosque Encantado site was completed. 270 trees were successfully put in the ground there. We then walked over to the other side of Fanca Barrio (neighborhood) and began preparing the revegetation site at ‘La Granja,’ a chicken coop owner who is very interesting in reforesting his barren hills which are in the process of eroding into the Rio Chone.

On Tuesday we went back to the La Granja site, this time with Ramon. In two days, two hundred and seventy holes were dug. 

The Planet Drum hole-digging attack force.

In the afternoon there was a meeting for the Eco-Amigos who are making a resurgence. There’s more participation of school children in the group and more transparency in the Municipio’s City Hall activities, projects and funding. Ronald, the Municipio’s biologist who is head of the Department of the Environment, has been elected lead coordinator of Eco-amigos. Our dear friend Cheo (eyes, ears and mouth of the city) has been appointed vice-coordinator. The combination of the two is working nicely, and word spreads rapidly through the group, which includes others such as Vladir of Genesis School, about new opportunities and happenings.

During the meeting, plans for the Eco-city anniversary were discussed as well as other potential projects to work on, such as Eco-noticias, Planet Drum’s eco-city newsletter. It was great having more input from the kids. I’d like to see the group elect a representative of the younger participants and hopefully the group will be able to bring about some real changes in the future. For the time being it’s nice to have a lot more sharing of information about what the Municipio is up to.

On Wednesday a small group of volunteers went directly to the Nuevo Globo site where they finished digging holes and completed a gate for the fence. Meanwhile the rest of us headed to the greenhouse in a rented truck to load up trees. The usual mayhem ensued to load up the truck with a selection of over two hundred trees. The longer we took, the more expensive the trip, so we moved as quickly as possible.

Caroline and a Fernan Sanchez (Triplaris guayaquilensis) en route to the revegetation site.

Deven doing one of his favorite activities: planting trees.

We met up with the others and began unloading and carrying the trees up the hill to where they will be planted.  On Thursday morning planting at the Nuevo Globo site was finished!  

Darline carries a load of trees up the steep hill at the Nuevo Globo site.

We then walked over the greenhouse to do some upkeep. The trees were weeded and dead trees moved out to recycle the dirt for new trees.

Deven, Sam and Jasper emptying the bottles of trees which died in the greenhouse.

Don Pepe showed up with his truck and we took a load of trees to his land, to continue reforesting hills for the second year in a row. First thing Friday morning we met Don Pepe at the greenhouse to take a second load of trees to his land. Once at the site trees were transported to their holes and planted. The trees are in rows to control erosion and we work our way up the steep hill, row by row. Took off a little early from the field to head back to Bahia for a fiesta celebrating the completion of a mural Planet Drum commissioned. Freddy Alvarado, an artist from San Francisco volunteered his time to repaint a mural at one of the local schools. He got input from a group of the students throughout the entire process and guided them through designing and painting a bright new and beautiful mural for their school.

Some of the local artists…
Sam and Deven with Freddy celebrating the completion of the mural.

 We took fruit and rounded up some of the many kids to celebrate the event. 

Hasta luego,

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