Our Mission and Story
Hi From the Caribbean.
This project is supported by a small group of people from all over the world working in collaboration with the community of Gandoca. Before this project we were part of the community at Punta Mona, an off-grid botanical garden and educational center located a few kilometers north of Gandoca who provided jobs for over a dozen locals. In 2021 Punta Mona was forced to close its doors. It was devastating. Our community lost its home and locals lost their jobs. The people of Gandoca have always been much more than employees to us, they are family, friends and teachers.
The closure of Punta Mona led us to rethink the ways in which we can continue to support the Gandocan community and brought us to some important questions:
How can we...
Support the community of Gandoca beyond our capitalistic models of employment?
Help Facilitate empowering support
systems on all levels?
Connect the rich culture and knowledge of Gandoca with people looking to create positive impacts with their travel experiences?
This program is a direct result of collaboration with the community of Gandoca. Though there are currently not many economic opportunities (outside of banana plantation work) most people own the land they live on. Some have small thriving farms and others have previously developed land that now sits dormant. When we asked how we could support them, they communicated a desire for economic opportunities, to grow their farmsm and to share with people who are excited to learn.
For us it's about impact,
Economic opportunities that also create abundance, independence and food sovereignty.
Educational and cultural opportunities that connect people directly with the knowledge and wisdom of people who've been connecting with their land for generations.
A platform to inspire people to rethink their relationship with land, people, nature, and food.
A program for people who desire to travel and connect with new cultures in an empowering and supportive way.
And so this is what we came up with; a homestay program that allows visitors to assist directly with financial and physical support. One that allows people from different cultures to connect and share directly.
We are currently 100% operated by volunteer service and all of the money goes directly to the families of Gandoca. Though we eventually hope to find ways to support those facilitating this project, our priority is supporting Gandoca. We are accepting donations to support the project. The team is made up of Frederique from Switzerland, Peter from Bulgaria, Dave from the USA (Along with everyone in Gandoca.)
We’ve been blown away by the feedback from this program from the families and participants. The majority of visitors have extended their stay and the families have also been very positive about their experience and the impact it's had. We’re excited to continue growing the program and developing more ways to create mutual positive impacts. Look forward to fundraising initiatives, community microgrant programs, and educational programs in partnership with Punta Mona.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for taking the time to read this. We hope to see you in Gandoca - until then, Pura Vida.