In recent months, there has been a noticeable increase in youth volunteering in the region. Many of them are involved in environmental work, often tree planting, which means that sooner or later they find out about Planet Drum’s revegetation project and want to participate.
One group, Fuerza Equitativa Juvenil de San Vicente (Equitable Youth Force of San Vicente), is a loosely knit group of young adults who volunteer their time to community service and environmental projects. They heard about Planet Drum’s project when they were looking for tree donations for a reforestation project they are undertaking in San Vicente. After receiving 200 native fruit trees from the Planet Drum greenhouse, they promised to return to help us produce at least 200 new trees in exchange.
Sure enough, within the month they returned to the greenhouse to help with greenhouse activities such as raking, watering, organizing trees, and filling bottles with soil for transplanting more trees. The group leader Martín had such a great time, that he offered to return again in the near future.
Approximately a month later, I arranged a second workshop with Martín. This time he came with a different group of young adults, also from San Vicente, who were also interested in learning about the greenhouse operation and Planet Drum’s revegetation initiatives. The group of 10 volunteers assisted with topping off the soil in the bottles of trees where the root ball had become compact and watering was not longer very efficient. It was a great team building activity, and they all had a lot of fun. Plus it was very helpful to the project to receive so much assistance at the greenhouse.
Additionally, Planet Drum has been coordinating with REVA (Red de Estudiantes Voluntarios Ambientales or Network of Environmental Student Volunteers) to plant trees in the region and hopes to host a workshop with them at the greenhouse in the near future.
Finally, Planet Drum’s summer intern Jules (France) has made a lot of local friends in a short period of time in Bahía and invited a small group of them to spend a morning helping out with work at the Planet Drum greenhouse. They helped plant Guanabano seeds in plastic bottles.