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UCLA-UCSC team prepares for building greenhouses in Guatemala | Nourish International

May 26, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Guatemala, Summer Projects, UCLA, UCSC | By

The Nourish International at UCLA and Nourish International at UCSC team members are really excited as we go through pre-departure planning and training and are looking forward to meeting the team members from ByoEarth and Junkabal, our project partners in Guatemala. ByoEarth is a nonprofit organization in Guatemala whose mission is to improve the living conditions of vulnerable communities by finding solutions through vermicomposing that also improve the soil, nurture the land, and integrally restore life to the planet. Junkabal is a women’s cooperative in Guatemala that promotes the human, social, spiritual, and economic development of women through various means, including schools, job training, and dental and nutrition clinics.

We will be helping to build greenhouses so that women in at least three different communities (in and around Guatemala City and Antigua) will be able to grow and sell organic herbs. Some of the women currently working with ByoEarth and Junkabal use vermicomposting to sell fertilizer and wish to increase their income by selling herbs, but there is a need to control the environment where the herbs grow so that the women can be successful. The Nourish team will talk with the women about business relationships, accounting, and herb growth and harvesting.

The UCLA-UCSC will be working with communities in Guatemala City and Antigua during their eight-week project.

The UCLA-UCSC team will be working with communities in Guatemala City and Antigua during its eight-week project.

Training for the UCLA-UCSC team has included Guatemalan history and culture lessons by reading “Guatemala in Focus” by Trish O’Kane, construction workshops (many thanks to Kyle Berry, Brent Bradford, and William Galasso for their extremely patient instruction), and individualized Spanish classes. We also went camping in Big Sur, Calif. to meet our teammates in person, complete a construction workshop, and have a great time getting to know each other. We leave for Guatemala in three weeks and as we’re winding down our spring quarter, shopping for hammers, and packing our rain gear, everyone is getting more and more excited to start the project.

William Galasso teaches Marisa Galasso, Anna Goldby, Ashley Luna, and Allison Stafford how to frame and combine pieces of wood for optimal structural support.

William Galasso teaches Marisa Galasso, Anna Goldby, Ashley Luna, and Allison Stafford how to frame and combine pieces of wood for optimal structural support.

Jeffrey Hsiao practices securing and sawing wood.

Jeffrey Hsiao practices securing and sawing wood.

Part of the UCLA-UCSC team, joined by Project Director Jessica Briggs, completes a coffee table in construction training while camping together in Big Sur, Calif.

Part of the UCLA-UCSC team, joined by Project Director Jessica Briggs, completes a coffee table in construction training while camping together in Big Sur, Calif.

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