Apoyo en Vieques para la Educacion y la Sustentabilidad. The goals of the project are: to provide a local food source to the island of Vieques, to offer education and gather institutional knowledge on small-scale farming (the practice of which on Vieques has been effectively lost through generations of displacement and industrialization), and to make the volunteer house self-sustainable. In cases of emergency, La Finca de Hamberto can provide food that does not rely on the ferry system.
Vieques, Puerto Rico currently imports 99% of its food through a complicated network of shipping to Puerto Rico first, then truck, then ferry, to finally make it to the island. Food security is a major issue daily and especially during times of disaster when shipping and communication links fail. The AVES project contributes to food security on Vieques in a variety of ways, from directly feeding community members through our community kitchen program, to longer-term sustainable agriculture.
This project aims to become one of the educational hubs and an activator for the community in general to help with the process of growing more food on the island. We engage youngsters, elders, and those in-between on cultivating native plants, including hands-on learning. We collaborate with other farmers and entities on the island to activate and accelerate how much food is grown and distributed locally. We also facilitate creating and stocking a 'bank' of local seeds and farming equipment.
- feeding over fifty community members healthy meals three times a week - educating individuals on sustainable agriculture, composting, and animal husbandry - continuing to help the Vieques Farmers Collective expand - storing and processing at least 12 native seeds varietals and bulbs to be able to provide for future gardeners and farmers - growing, processing, and distributing fruits and vegetables on Vieques - serving as a solar-powered emergency food distribution and communications center
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