Today's focus primarily revolved around repairing and preparing the lot where we planted the 100 fruit trees last year. For those following last year, we planted 100 fruit trees at the Don Juan community outreach center to be distributed amongst the local bateys.
Unfortunately with these sorts of projects there are challenges that arise; teaching the locals to properly care for the trees, animals and theft are all common problems faced.
When we arrived we were informed a number of trees had either died, were eaten or stolen form the property. However one silver lining was that Idalina, one of the Brazilian Nuns who runs the community center said that the trees were most likely taken by the very poorest families who were too embarrassed to ask for help feeding their children.
On a positive note a number of the trees planted last year have grown well and will be ready for fruit production next year.
Peter Bugden showing one of the locals how to repair an irrigation leak:
Ryan & Jordan with our barb wire dispensing system. (Branches are cut from trees and planted in the ground, they sprout roots and become a ‘living fence’).
Top help rectify some of these problems we installed/upgraded the barb wire fencing around the property, worked with some of the local villagers that tend to the orchard to educate them of how to properly care for the trees and repaired a number of irrigation leaks. The irrigations leaks occur when the workers are clearing the brush with their machetes and nick the irrigation pipes.
Paulo & David remained on the orphanage and helped one of the other volunteers prepare an area including cement slab for slaughtering the farm animals. They also supervised the arrival of the top soil for the area we cleared yesterday outside the long term volunteer house.
Jordan’s update on the Don Juan outreach center: