Many of Bahía’s residents who lost their homes during the 2016 earthquake were relocated into a government subsidized housing development as part of the earthquake recovery. The newly constructed neighborhood near Leonidas Plaza is called “Los Arguellos”. The low-cost housing (4 apartments share each structure to reduce construction costs by sharing common walls and floors) areas are mostly devoid of vegetation and residents are anxious to improve the aesthetics and ecology of their new neighborhood however possible. There is also clearly a desire to develop community relationships; residents were assigned homes based on government planning instead of social ties.
Planet Drum had been eyeing starting community work at Los Arguellos and the perfect opportunity arose when we were invited to do an ecological project by a group of visiting medical students from the US who had been providing medical care to the residents.
We delivered a small batch of trees for planting with residents, and helped build an elevated seedbed so that the residents will be able to grow their own trees for revegetation. During the workshop, Orlando explained the various aspects of collecting and preparing seeds to the residents. There is clearly much work to be done, but most importantly, the residents are motivated to participate. This was just the first day of work for Planet Drum at Los Arguellos and hopefully we will have the opportunity to continue assisting the community with ecological restoration as a part of their recovery from the 2016 earthquake.