Sunday, April 3, 2016


I want to invite everyone to watch a dream become a reality. We are hard at work here helping its birth and with each day we see more hope coming to a people who have little. We have finished the purchase of the land that Eden sits on. We are all so grateful to the people who have come alongside of us in support of this training center. Almost a year ago I realized that this was a project that needed to be done. As we begin work and see the immediate effect on the communities we serve I know it was the right decision and one that will bear more fruit than any of the founders saw. Each day our team is in awe with the dawning of the richness and grandeur of the change that is coming for the Ixil people.  With so much happening every day it is not possible to report even a fraction of the events but I am watching a core group of Ixils see how they can change their lives with the tools and training we are providing. In the following reports I hope you also can begin to see and rejoice with us that a people who have suffered so much are moving themselves forward to a better tomorrow.
We are almost done collecting plant cuttings and seedlings from my Xesalli site. We have made many trips down the hill with our different work crews bringing seedlings to Eden.
It is a 20 minute commute  that reminds me of the song lyrics "over the river and through the woods" as we pass through some beautiful country. Each trip we would bring one hundred to one hundred and fifty new plants to Eden.
 Francisco is carryng a native plant called muxan. It is one of the preferred leaves to bake tamales in. The variety of plants we already have growing is exciting. We have plants from the states, Asia, Africa and Europe.
Morning sunrise breaks through a papaya tree in one of the gardens. We are using cattail stocks in the paths for a mulch or cover. As they decompose we will put the rich biomass they create onto the garden beds.

At the heart of the farm is our greenhouse. It lets us produce thousands of seedlings each month fro distribution as well as protect and establish new varieties of seeds.

Here in the lower part of the greenhouse we have planted two types of beans for a green manure crop. In two weeks we will turn the bean crop into the soil and plant tomatoes and peppers in their place.

Here a tray of tomato seedlings waits for its turn to be planted. We are planting vegetable starts in assembly- line fashion.  Last week we distributed 2,000 vegetable seedlings in Xesalli and Chel.

Each seed tray holds 200 seedlings.You can see little Carlos in the background. He is learning by watching us work how to prepare the trays.

 We are already producing over 3,000 seedlings per month.

As soon as we can grow them people are in line waiting to plant them.

Our two motorcycles have turned into delivery trucks. The two boxes on the back of the bike lets us deliver 800 seedlings into waiting hands.

 Being able to work at this volume level will make a real difference in our 600 family gardens.
In early March Brad Ward from ECHO ( Educational Concens For Hunger) paid us a visit. Here he looks over a new variety of collards we are introducing. This green is so popular that we are planting  1,000 seedlings at a time. ECHO is a great partner to learn and study with. We are greatful for the introduction that Penny from Miracles in Action has given us to Brad and the organization.
Penny generously brought Brad and Echo's videographer Nate back to shoot some footage of our work. Here they are recording an interview with two of our garden leaders.
 We have also been busy with construction projects; building bridges, small dams for fish ponds and remodeling the second story of the ranch house. All this work is being done in the fashon of a living classroom that our workers benefit from.

Antonio and Saloman leveling off the top of a foot bridge. They later inserted flat stones to make Mayan designs of corn, birds and the date. It was a fun personal touch.

Gaspar, one of our field hands, was always quick with a smile even though most of his teeth are gone. It's a fun place to work or visit. We offer three weeks of work to field hands then switch workers so others have a turn to learn and earn. Learning from the experience of having workers show up who have not eaten the day before due to lack of food, we offer a company hot lunch each day.


We are already harvesting enough produce to provide a good portion of our  lunches.
A few weeks ago we realized that we could be generous with our greens harvest. What is special about this realization is it does not just apply to the limited time of a few weeks or months but an abundant harvest is going to be the daily occurence from now on. This is quite an awakening in a place where malnutrition ranks high. 
Felipe is our field supervisor and is happy to enjoy some of the rewards of his labor.

The farm also allows us to deepen the help and relationship that we offer our neighbors. The boy in the foreground, Lucus, was living under broken tarps with his family when we first met him. Behind him is Carlos. His home was so small we had to get them to add on so we could install a new stove for his family.
Well, that is enough for now. Thanks to everyone for following along on this journey and a special thanks for those who are helping us make this dream a reality. Qil tip' paq'te ma'te b'en   Hasta luego Adios, We'll see you latter Got to go.

1 comment:

JJ said...

It is always enlightening reading an update. The Ripple Effect is doing wonderful work that will change many lives for the better. The skills you are teaching will benifit the entire community. Thank you for all you are doing!