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 just north of Gandoca. Before it was forced to close its doors in 2021, Punta Mona provided jobs for over a dozen Gandocans who were more like family and friends than they were employees. It was devastating. Our community lost its home and our local family lost their jobs.
This 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 and facilitate empowering support systems on all levels?
How can we continue to support organic agricultural practices?
How do we connect the rich culture and knowledge of Gandoca with people looking to create positive impacts with their travel experiences?
When we asked how we could support them, they communicated a desire for economic opportunities, to grow their farms, and to share with people who are excited to learn. 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.
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 the answer became obvious; let's connect people directly to families looking for physical and financial support. Lets facilitate people from different cultures to connect and share directly.
Our team is made up of Frederique from Switzerland, Peter from Bulgaria, Dave from the USA (Along with everyone in Gandoca.). We value transparency, and so we continue to have 100% of your nightly rate going directly to the family you work with. To cover our expenses we have a sliding scale inscription fee. This is a one time cost regardless of your length of stay that ranges from $25-100.
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.
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.