November 5, 2013 – February 5, 2014
We ended 2013 with visits to the greenhouse from several more groups of students from the Sathya Sai and Montufar schools. The children thoroughly enjoyed the visits. Some of the younger groups of kids were actually the most knowledgeable during the lecture portion of the workshop and enthusiastic doing the hands-on work.
With help from the groups of students at the greenhouse, we were able to reach our goal of producing 8,000 trees at the greenhouse. 36 different native species were propagated. Half of the species and production totals were fruit-producing varieties.
Cabo de Hacha and Amarillo seeds were collected.
One morning was spent inspecting a possible revegetation sites behind the Sathya Sai school.
The end of the year typically marks the end of the dry season and the beginning of the wet season. This year was similar, although the wet season had a little bit of a slow start in the Bahía region. As such, we’ve begun focusing our energy on distributing trees to communities, partner organizations, and anyone who is interested in helping the environment by planting and caring for native trees.
In late December, CNEL (the national power company) came to pick up 987 fruit trees that were distributed to multiple different communities in the region. In rural areas, where new electrical infrastructure is being constructed, each household received one or two trees for planting. The trees were of varieties that are well adapted to each area and were specifically requested by community members, so they should be properly cared for. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to visit some of the communities to meet personally with the different residents and see where the trees were planted.
Just before Christmas, we held a small tree donation campaign of our own with the students from the Sathya Sai and Montufar schools who participated in revegetation workshops. Each student that visited the greenhouse got to request a tree to plant at their house. We took orders from each class and then delivered the trees to their schools for each student to take home. 153 trees were delivered to students at the Sathya Sai school and 102 at Montufar.
In early January, Global Student Embassy picked up a truckload of trees (330) for planting as part of their reforestation efforts with international volunteers and local workers. Two truck loads of trees (250) were sent to land owners in the Rio Muchacho community.
In January, we also continued to transplant more seedlings to bottles for the 2014 production since there are seedbeds of Guayaba, Tierre de monte, Guachapeli, Mandarina, Naranja, Pomarosa, and Guava de Machete that are ready. We’d made contact with the administrations at the Vicente Hurtado (private) and Miguel Valverde (public) schools about taking groups of students to the greenhouse for workshops. They were very receptive to the idea, particularly the teachers, who think that this is a fantastic opportunity for the students to learn and experience something new. So far, two groups from Vicente Hurtado and one group from Miguel Valverde have visited the greenhouse.
We will be talking with many more schools in the area about collaboration this year as well. And since schools will be on vacation from March through April, we will look into working directly with local community groups to see if there is interest in doing workshops, too.
Aside from distributing 2013 trees and producing new 2014 trees, we will also design and plant a few revegetation sites ourselves with help from a couple of new volunteers who are arriving in early February.