Tree Planting in Astillero

The steep mountainside that rises above the Astillero neighborhood poses an enormous risk for mudslides to the residents who live below it, and could potentially block access to the bridge across the Río Chone estuary, the mall, and the main access road to Bahía de Caráquez. Over the years, Planet Drum has planted more than 10 revegetation sites in the area, but the hillside is so large and steep, that massive revegetation intervention continues to be a critical need.
A new revegetation site is being implemented there with a total of 75 trees representing four of the most resilient Dry Tropical Forest species: Algarrobo, Guayacan, Guachapeli, and Ébano. Selection of proper tree species is crucial to ensure acceptable survival rates (above 70%). Also, the timing of planting them (at the very onset of the upcoming rainy season) is equally important, since watering these trees is exceptionally difficult.
The site is located on the hillside behind the Astillero community greenhouse, where Planet Drum collaborates with local nature enthusiast José María. The hill is so steep, that walking around requires tremendous effort and care. Transporting tools, supplies, and trees up the hill is a major undertaking. Macheteing, hole digging, and tree planting all require extra energy under these steep conditions.
Volunteers Julia and Felix, José María, and I planted 15 trees in one morning. We will return to finish planting the remainder of the site in January, when a group of volunteers will be joining the project for a couple of weeks.

Felix, José María, and Julia dig holes and clear trails through the brush at the bottom of the hillside.
Julia digs a hole on the hillside in the Astillero neighborhood.
Hillside tree planting in the Astillero.
Felix carries a bucket with tree up the steep hill.

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