“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

05 / Jul / 2021

I am not going to lie to you; I am a true tree hugger. Hugging a tree is the most fantastic experience. And now I see the experience in the eyes of the beautiful kids we work with at the foundation in Drake Bay. Every time we give them a tree to plant, their eyes light up. 

Their excitement is contagious. Last week, one of our kids showed us his colossal orange tree. We gave it to him last April, and this year the tree is taller than him. Welcome to the Jungle! He is so proud of how he took care of it. 

My mom used to play a song by Alberto Cortez about how he planted a tree with his father in the middle of their yard when he was young. The time passed, and the tree grew, and under his branches, he played with his dad, and eventually, he kissed his first love, and when his dad passed, the tree was a constant reminder of his dad. I can never forget that song “mi padre y yo lo plantamos” he sang. Little did his dad know the kind of memories planting that tree meant. 

My dad was not perfect, but he loved nature, and it was infectious. He couldn’t stand to see a forest burning. My dad was like a self-proclaimed fireman. We would be driving to the beach on his old Toyota Land Rover, and he would carry a shovel in the back, just in case he needed to put out a fire. And he did it so many times. So, I grew up to do the same.

One time, trying to put out a fire when a neighbor decided to burn his field to open space to feed his cows, I witnessed a sloth burn in front of my eyes. I couldn’t save it. I didn’t know how to, and that broke my heart. Maybe that was the day I decided I needed to work in conservation.

Every year, tons of acres or hectares are lost to fires to open agricultural fields. The amount of CO2 generated by the loss of forest only compares to the amount of CO2 generated by transportation (planes, cars, ships, and trains all together).

There’s a Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

With climate change threatening the future of our children and the children to come, planting a tree might be the best gift we can give to our children. Maybe we might not be able to play under its branches or eat its fruits, but the gift of LIFE that a tree can provide us is hard to beat. 

One tree can produce 260 pounds of oxygen each year.

One tree can produce 260 pounds of oxygen each year. That is pretty awesome, considering oxygen is critical to life. In one year, a mature tree could take in more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange. So, when you plant a tree, you are helping absorb lots of CO2 and producing oxygen. Trees are also protecting the soils from desertification and erosion, and they are home to entire ecosystems. Every tree is a “giving tree.”

This year we will plant 1000 trees with the help of our kids, our volunteers, our families and friends. All the trees are either fruit trees or native trees. These trees are also a source of income for many women in the area. They collect the seeds, and they nurture them until they are viable trees. We buy the trees from them, and they earn an income for their work. In the meantime, we will start reforesting and restoring forest with this new life, with these new trees ready to thrive!

Please help us! You might not have a yard to plant a tree or more land to fit another tree, you might not have a fire to put out, but you can help us buy trees from these ladies and care for them. $10 will help us purchase and plant a tree; our volunteers and friends will help us follow up! 

On July 14th, GlobalGiving will sweeten up this by providing a matching fund for every donation of 100 or more. So 100 US can help us reforest 100 square meters or 1076 square feet. 

Help us plant 1000 trees this year.

Plant as many trees as you’d like. Planting trees is a rewarding way to change the world.

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