Our second day in Jayuya was spent working with neighbors in the community surrounding Camp Tabononuco.
Break Leader Rosa reflects, “Abdiel’s finca (land/farm) was destroyed during Hurricane Maria. He was forced to move on to new land and start his agricultural business from the ground up. Although he has faced this adversity, he remains resilient. Abdiel shared his local knowledge with us about the many indigenous plants, their uses, and the importance of sustainability. We planted habichuelas (beans) in the small piece of land we had cultivated because their byproduct (nitrogen) will enrich the soil for future crops. His mother brought us freshly made papaya juice from their tree, shared a joke with us, and gave us hugs when we left. Working on Abdiel’s land has greatly enhanced my understanding of the devastation experienced by many in the campo and, the powerful resilience of Puerto Ricans.”
Participant Gloria reflects, “We worked at Etienne's finca and picked sweet chili peppers and planted cilantro. Etienne shared with us that he’s lived in la finca his whole life and it’s been a part of his family for many generations. He also mentioned that he wants la finca to continue to be an important part of his family for many more years to come. Agriculture is fundamental to Etienne’s life. With what he grows, he consumes, shares with neighbors and sells to local grocery stores. This demonstrates that la finca promotes sustainability at the environmental and economic level.”
Genesis and Doña Luz's House
Participant Carlos reflects, "On Tuesday March 26, 2019 we had the opportunity and blessing to paint Genesis and Doña Luz’s house. Genesis is a twelve-year-old community organizer working with Camp Tabonuco. When we arrived at her home she was so happy to see us and that only motivated us more to complete the job to the best of our abilities. Before we began to paint we had a quick meeting where we were trying to decide the best possible designs and color scheme to place on Doña Luz’s house because we wanted her home to represent the vibrant, loving and welcoming spirit of the family. Once we began to paint we were told that we had a time constraint and so we had to work faster and more efficiently, however, we knew that we could not leave without completing our task; and so we did."