THE FINCAS BUENAS PROJECT (Solola, Guatemala)
Information sent by Jay JACKSON over Facebook (2014-03-07)
To Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM (Zaffelare, Belgium)
Once again, sir, I thank you for your inspiration and interest in what we are doing!
This is only the beginning!
THE BASIC IDEA
I was searching for ideas on how to do the most good with the least amount of money, and thought that vertical gardening was a good way to help provide nutrition to “campesinos” who don’t own a lot of land. I wasn’t finding any examples of vertical gardening methods that produced food, until I came across your videos on YOU TUBE, and it was like “Eureka!” for me :
1. BOTTLE TOWERS – TOURS DE BOUTEILLES
PET bottles stacked into a bottle tower can be recycled to set up a vertical kitchen garden at home. The bottle towers are used for container gardening of vegetables and herbs. How to build such a tower is shown in different steps.
Des bouteilles en PET, empilées dans une tour de bouteilles, peuvent être recyclées dans un potager vertical à domicile. Les tours de bouteilles servent à la production de légumes et herbes en récipients. Il est montré en étapes consécutives comment construire une telle tour.
2. Building a bottle tower for container gardening
Plastic bottles stacked into a bottle tower can be recycled to set up a vertical kitchen garden at home. The bottle towers are used for container gardening of vegetables and herbs. How to build such a tower is shown in different steps.
BOTTLE TOWER GARDENS
This video shows the efficiency and sustainability of a bottle tower garden. They can be installed against the wall of a house or along a hedge or a fence. The number of bottle towers has to be adapted for providing food security for the family all year long and year after year. It is a method applicable anywhere on earth, both in rural and in urban areas, e.g. on a balcony. It can be applied at the lowest cost to alleviate malnutrition and hunger.
APPLYING FOOD PRODUCTION IN BOTTLES AND BOTTLE TOWERS IN GUATEMALA
It is a perfect solution to teach people to reuse (recycle) what normally may be considered garbage, along with providing some sustenance and style at the same time.
The neighborhoods of the indigenous Mayan population around Solola, Guatemala, can use some decoration and color as well, because it has a way in getting people to take pride in their community, and not want to throw garbage on the ground.
I initially came down here to put in an irrigation system on an American friend’s land, but when children were constantly asking me for money, I began telling them “It is important for people to work for their money, to have pride in themselves”.
That’s when children began asking me for jobs. I started thinking about how different it was in Guatemala from the United States, where children normally don’t have to worry about working until they are at least teenagers.
So in the meantime, our project begun construction of an Outdoor Horticultural Learning Center, and we offered the harvests we had grown to a local kitchen for the young and elderly, and provided snacks to children in school.
It was only until very recently that we decided to shift gears and start constructing these bottle towers more full time.
- The people in the town of Solola (and the next town over) are now gathering their own bottles, and we install the gardens for them, providing composted soil, canes or wire mesh, and seedlings.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
We are very excited about the way this development project for a poor rural community in Guatemala is progressing. It is potentially an example for the rest of the world.
The 3 guys working with me are indigenous members of the community and they receive almost double the normal wage to work in this project, along with lessons on how to use the internet, and other basic math and literacy lessons.
For me it is very important that development projects directly employ members of the community in order to empower the very people they are attempting to help.
Here is a link to our fundraising site:
Down here in San Marcos La Laguna, Solola, Guatemala, we have learned that in order to eliminate illiteracy and poverty, it takes a multi-faceted approach.Our project consists of providing snacks to kids in the primary school, to help fill their stomach, to pay attention in class, constructing v…