Jairo was born and raised in Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica. He grew up right in front of the sea and, naturally, he became a waterman. He can Surf, Spearfish, and can read the water currents better than a book. We met him over a decade ago during our travels to Costa Rica, and when we moved to Costa Rica back in 2014, he became our sustainable agriculture apprentice. During that time, together, we built a community garden with the intentions to help the local community address the lack of nutritious vegetables and foods.
As a young adult in a low income less privileged coastal town, he shared this: "Before we built the garden, I was feeling purposeless, trapped and with no direction in my life."
That statement led us to think that there must be lots of other at-risk young adults in the area that could benefit from an agricultural project like this one, so we funded VidaRaiz FarmWorks as a USA based nonprofit.
Jairo now is not our apprentice but a vital member of our Vida Raiz agriculture project here in Costa Rica; He is still living life in his small town, surfing, and spearfishing but with a purpose that goes beyond himself. He is also currently studying sustainable organic agriculture at a tech school with the hopes to become a farm owner. In the meantime though, he will be working with us educating others to pursuit education, life skills, and self-sustainability and organic agriculture.
Esterillos Oeste kindergarten
Esterillos Oeste has a little Kindergarten that is required by local laws to have a vegetable garden, but the problem is that they are not provided with the resources to build that needed garden. In 2015 we created a canopy to help address the no garden problem, but that canopy didn't last. Upon our return this year of 2018, we decided to ask supporters for some financial help so we could build a proper greenhouse for the Kinder.
After four days under the scorching sun, Jairo, Eykel, and Marco got the greenhouse built and soon Sonia, the teacher, will be planting new baby seedling with her class of little ones.
Our commitment is to be there to provide a helping hand to Sonia and the other teachers with the maintenance of the greenhouse and acquiring donating seeds and seedling.
If you ‘d like to contribute to the Esterillos Oeste Kindergarten Greenhouse, email us to ask how.
Esterillos Oeste Community Garden
In 2014 we moved to Esterillos Oeste to contribute to this small community by building a veggie garden. Our purpose was to plant veggies and pass on our harvest to the locals. We expected nothing in return, and we saw it as a simple gesture to bless the people of Esterillos and Costa Rica. Little did we know that this simple garden was going to be successful!
As we built the garden in an abandoned dirt lot; folks walking by would tell me that nothing would grow there, that the soil was too depleted and that the black sand will let the water drain too fast. They were right, but we practiced some permaculture principles along with organic techniques to grow our plants, and in no time we had a beautiful veggie garden producing much fruit.
As time went on, kids and their moms from different parts of town would help plant and harvest. We were giving food away for free, and that was never seen in that town before or ever.
But as we all know, nothing lasts forever. We turned the garden to local leaders before our departure to the states for a couple of years, but they weren't able to maintain the garden and eventually the government took the land back for a different project and as of now, it seats there empty again.
Still, folks are excited we have returned and are building a new garden at the town's kindergarten. Our intentions are the same except that this time around we will incorporate our work with at-risk young adults.
Our mission is to address the global issues of poverty and food deprivation by empowering at-risk young adults in Costa Rica with the skills to improve theirs and their family's quality of life. We are committed to providing a safe place for young adults to live and learn the different elements of sustainable agriculture and permaculture in an environment that mirrors positive life skills for successful living.