Have you Heard about Permaculture?
At Plenitud, we use permaculture to design the educational farm where we are based and the gardens at our 4 partner public schools in Maricao, Las Marías, and Añasco.
First coined in the 1970s by Austrialians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, the design of permaculture imitates nature's patterns to meet our basic needs without harming mother earth.
Look at the children from the Dr. Silverio Medina Gaud School in Las Marías designing their own garden!
The Partner Schools Program Starts Stronger Than Ever
Public schools in this region of Puerto Rico are in a difficult situation, many without printers, toilet paper, and other basic resources. Despite this, there are inspiring individuals like Cedrick Hernández, an English teacher at the Raúl Ybarra School, who has been buying materials from his own funds for years, visiting the school on weekends to paint and trim the grass. He started the garden at the Raúl Ybarra school and his devotion and love for students is what inspired us to adopt this school and support what he is already doing.
It has been a pleasure for us to bring hope and care to the community of teachers and students who are already dedicated to improving their schools. At Raúl Ybarra School, we are currently cleaning and transforming the outdoor spaces that Cedrick started and building new gardens.
Thanks to Alelí Environmental for all their support in making the changes at our Partner Schools a reality, and to the parents and volunteers for their valuable contributions!
Recognizing Puerto Rico Through the Rainwater Harvesting Mentorship Program
Raymond Balaguer is Plenitud’s Resilience and Youth Programs Coordinator through Americorps VISTA. Over the last 3 months, Plenitud, led by Raymond, has implemented 12 rainwater harvesting tanks at homes in need in the surrounding community while training 14 rainwater apprentices. Below, he shares with us his experience coordinating Plenitud’s Rainwater Harvesting Mentorship Program:
“I felt that I was meeting Puerto Rico for the second time by interacting with the apprentices and the people in the community who received the rainwater harvesting tanks. I learned from the richness of what an old man can tell you in two minutes, and that in the process we have to serve as much as we can, always remembering that this is for the people.”
Thank you, Raymond, for your commitment. You are an inspiration!
Meet Dr. Ileana Vargas, who Joins the Plenitud team as a Medical Advisor
Dr. Ileana Vargas is a Puerto Rican pediatric endocrinologist and Associate Professor at Columbia University in New York. She has a passion for helping prevent diabetes in children and inspiring families to eat healthier.
Ileana is sharing her medical knowledge to help Plenitud strengthen its healthy nutrition program with young people and the elderly in Las Marías and surrounding towns.
Stay tuned to learn more about her service with Plenitud!
Visit Rico Certifies Plenitud as Agrocultural Interpreters to Offer Agrotourism Tours
Rebekah Sánchez and Daimer Castro, along with a dynamic group of Puerto Rican farmers, completed the Certificación de Interpretación del Patrimonio AgroCultural granted by the organization VisitRico. The designed tour is now available for groups at our farm in Las Marías. It includes an interactive explanation of ecological and permacultural practices used at Plenitud. Participants will also have the opportunity to plant and harvest crops, and help prepare lunch. The tour culminates with a delicious farm-to-table meal made with the fresh harvest. For more information and to participate in a guided tour, visit our Agrotourism and Educational Tours page!
Cornell University Engineers Partner with Plenitud
Through its Engaged Cornell program, graduate school students and engineering professors at Cornell University in New York are collaborating with Plenitud to research rainwater filtration systems and other projects related to community resilience. This alliance will allow us to more effectively impact communities with rainwater and resilience projects. We are so delighted to be a part of this partnership.
Quote of the Month:
“Take care of the Earth, Take care of the People, and Share the Surplus.“
Beyoncé - Spirit (from Disney’s “The Lion King”)
Thanks to our amazing visitors, volunteers, and donors this month:
Dr. Ileana Vargas for founding the Plenitud PR health and wellness committee; Professor Lizette Colón of the Hostos Community College / University of the City of New York for the translation of the newsletter; Jimmy Valle, Cristina Olán, Paola Martinez, and Melmary Aguilar Rios for their support in the Allied Schools program; Amy Tramaloni for her generous contribution of materials; Fifi Montolio for her recurring donation; and, Maddie Harvey for her help with agricultural projects.
A thousand thanks for all your support and love!
Please continue to tell your family and friends about Plenitud PR and the work we are doing to build a better Puerto Rico and create a more sustainable future for our children.