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More Families are Joining this New Way of Making a Living by Restoring their Ecosystems

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

We are pleased to share with you that another family has joined the group of restorers that collaborate with Humans for Abundance: they are María and Andrés Avilés, their children and their little grandson.

They have a six-hectare farm in the Kichwa community of Mushullakta, in the province of Napo. Their property borders the Sumaco-Napo-Galeras National Park, which has an area of 63 000 km2.

Before joining Humans for Abundance, the Avilés family made their living by selling agricultural products produced traditionally, that is, with chemicals and pesticides. In this way, they earned a very low monthly average: approximately 100 USD. Additionally, in case of great need, they would cut down one of the large native trees that grow on their property. These trees are very valuable in the lumber business; so, even though their sale is illegal, they would cut one down - sometimes at night and in secret - because one tree could represent up to 3000 USD.

Joining Humans for Abundance entails a big change for this family in the way they manage their land, which they will turn into a regenerative farm. This implies a total redesign: instead of having monoculture plantations all over their property, from now on, only one or two hectares will be used for planting. Additionally, they will use permaculture methods, like making compost, treating the soil with organic fertilizers, crop association using many different plants, and planting shrubs or fodder plants, which help maintain water in the soil and prevent erosion.

The rest of the farm will be reforested with native trees species that have been cut down, such as chuncho, pambil, guayabilla, copal, among others. To do this, they must research which plants used to grow in the area, and obtain these seeds, which are often in danger of extinction. Thanks to the agro-ecology workshops provided by Humans for Abundance, small farmers like Andrés and María have learned that one of the best ways to obtain these seeds is to "invite" birds (for example, by putting up a perch) and other animals (for example, by making a "shelter" that simulates an armadillo’s den) to visit their lands; when these animals visit, they leave the seeds behind in their waste. The Avilés family will then plant these seeds and take care of the seedlings, which will hopefully grow up to be tall, strong trees.

Despite the fact that they have only been ecological restorers for a short time, the Avilés family has already been positively impacted; After joining Humans for Abundance, their income this month has been five times higher that in previous months. 

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