José Álvarez is 11 years old. Before being reached out by Plenitud PR, José and his family were still dealing with many hardships from having completely lost their home due to Hurricane María in 2017. They were sleeping on the floor, cooking outside on an improvised cement block and charcoal stove, and had to stop selling their produce at the farmers market, one of the sources of income for the family.
Through participation in the Partner Schools program, José was able to learn about ecological gardening, and further support his family in the farm.
We identified his commitment and enthusiasm and invited him to be an instructor to other kids in our Plenitud Learning channel.
As an Instructor, he and his family were the main featured actors of a video recently produced on “How to Plant”.
Through the video project, he joined his family in re-growing beds of gardens in his home, to show the video audience how to plant them.
In the process of recording the videos with his family, we learned more about their living conditions after Hurricane María. This inspired us to promptly activate the Plenitud PR community to bring them a stove, kitchen appliance and utensils, beds, a desk for José and other supplies.
After the video production was over, we helped the family increase their garden beds and provided materials to expand it. Now we are helping them to market their produce as part of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
“José has made a huge change. He gets up early to check his garden, to water the plants. And it has helped me with my depression, as I get up early check the garden with him and continue sowing. I am in the mood to move on!”, said José’s mother, Migdalia Mass Lloréns.
By becoming an Ecological Agriculture Instructor for other children, José was able to share the wisdom of his life experiences and become an inspiration. He is now motivated; he wakes up early and helps his father on the farm every day. Also, his living situation has improved. His household has now the most basic furniture and now they can prepare and enjoy their meals in their new indoor kitchen.
José wants to spend more time at Plenitud PR and would like to be an Agriculture Instructor, once the pandemic is over. He would also like to be a Youtuber.
This is one of the five organizations funded by Red Nose for Puerto Rico Fund, established in 2019 in Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico by Comic Relief US.