A group of 14 high school students from Washington International School will be visiting the Nandamojo watershed in mid-June, spending a week in the area as part of a service-learning trip. ROW will be hosting the group, and is coordinating with the Centro de Nutrición (CEN) in Paraíso to have the students install an organic community garden on the facility’s small grounds, pictured below.
Didier Zúñiga and his family are doing amazing work. ROW gave them a $2,500 Bees for Trees loan to begin producing honey in 2012. In exchange for the opportunity, they planted a thousand native species saplings on their farm, reforesting a hill wedged between two seasonal creeks.
Over the next two years, Didier’s family produced and bottled over 1,000 pounds of honey, fully repaying their loan this past March. Many of the trees they planted are now 15 feet tall and ROW has given Didier a second loan to add fifteen more hives to the operation.
Many people who come to the Nandamojo Valley seek out-of-the-ordinary tours during their stay. With the help of ROW and our Bees for Trees honey producer, Jaime Zuñiga, we've brought several thrill-seeking visitors to experience healthy beehives up close and personal! Depending on the time of year, the process first involves a grueling climb into the hills of the valley and into the small town of La Florida. There, we dress head to toe in full bee suits and prepare the smoker. Jaime then leads the way into his fields where the hives are kept under close surveillence.
ROW has launched a crowd-sourced fundraiser for our Bees for Trees program through Indiegogo.com! We're asking for $7,600 to be able to issue two new Bees for Trees loans, plant 3,000+ trees, and produce more pure, raw honey in our watershed. The grant would also help us run trials with Top-Bar hive designs.
Peter Lawson, General Manager of Hacienda La Norma, has joined ROW's board of directors. Peter moved to Costa Rica with his wife and two children over a year ago, after having visited the country for over two decades.
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