Written by Clare, La Mariposa Intern
A few weeks ago, Paulette approached me to see if I would like to take the lead on a community garden project. Seeing as I have past experience in Canada volunteering for urban greening projects, I was happy to take on such a responsibility! One of our guests, Michael Richardson, is an expert in community gardens and has been passionate about them for 30 years. He came with the intention of buying a small plot of land to be shared within a community; a communal site where families could go to grow and cultivate vegetables to feed to their families. La Mariposa is always keen to partner with the municipality. As Michael began to discuss his idea, Ramon, an engineer and representative of the mayor mentioned a project that would fit perfectly into La Mariposa’s vision of sustainability. As it turns out, the municipality is funding an irrigation system project which will benefit twenty-six families in Santiago, a community known well to La Mariposa; the location of Rincon de Cuentos, our afterschool and daycare program. This impressive underground irrigation system will provide water to plots of land throughout the entire year. I was astonished at the generosity of the municipality to provide such a system to so many families in need. So far the project has a great head start. Michael, Ramon, Franklin (another municipal representative), myself and Jorge, a passionate and knowledgeable community member, visited ten or so plots last week. As we walked, I watched as Jorge’s eyes lit up, his vision was slowly coming to life. Together, we discussed the importance of composting, the type of soil required to cultivate crops and the size of land required. It was a day full of new realizations and possibilities.
The municipality will provide seeds and an in-house expert in organic waste management to train each family. La Mariposa will partner with Michael to fund some of the gardening equipment, including a “living fence” made of a plant that grows rapidly and requires little water. We are currently seeking funding for the living fence and for wooden compost bins made up of soil and worms. With this aid, the community will be able to feed nutritional meals to their family every day.
Please see our donations page if you are interested in funding this project!