Dear friends and supporters of Amigos de Puerto Rican Eco Farmers,
In late 2017 we started this small charitable project to help small organic farms in Puerto Rico devastated by Hurricane Maria. We received our first donations in January of 2018 and with your generous help went on to raise over ten thousand dollars so far this year. With your donations we were able to directly and meaningfully assist six farmers on the island with just under nine thousand dollars in grants ranging from several hundred dollars to just under our current maximum grant of two-thousand five hundred dollars. We helped farmers replace destroyed greenhouses and barn roofs, helped pay for the extra labor needed to clear fallen trees and debris and purchased chainsaws, trimmers and other tools to help them clean up the mess, rebuild and replant. We purchased organic fertilizer, irrigation equipment, a wheelbarrow. And from the smallest item to the largest, from the small fruit and herb farm to the larger vegetable operation serving the San Juan market, your help made a difference and was deeply appreciated. Thank you so much!
At the same time, we were unable to assist some of the larger requests for assistance that were beyond our current capabilities and applications both large and small continue to come in to us. Even now a year later, farms have destruction they have not been able to address and the need continues for clearing, cleaning up and replanting, especially with perennial trees and crops. But also, we hear from our contacts there that the recovery efforts have helped generate a resurgence of interest in eco-agriculture in Puerto Rico and many new farms are starting up and new markets are opening. We hope to continue to support these efforts to rebuild and revitalize local and organic food in Puerto Rico. We can assist farmers with erosion controlling terracing, help plant new varieties of gourmet cacao and support an initiative for a Puerto Rican cacao co-operative or farm based education programs for children. As farmers there move forward in recovery and work toward growing a far greater portion of the food in Puerto Rico, they are coming up with new ideas and models for resiliency knowing that someday the winds may blow again. We would like to continue to be a part of this effort and welcome your support.