Rita Doppenberg, The DIG Nursery Project

Rita Doppenberg and her family have been living in El Progreso, Jutiapa, Guatemala for five years, building relationships and working on their mission to support indigenous Mayans. The DIG Nursery Project provides options for reforestation, as well as sustainable organic farming practices to stop the malnourishment epidemic among Mayans in the region.

When the Doppenberg family moved to Guatemala they took their time getting to know the people, their skills, and their needs. Malnourishment plagues the region, and many villages’ only income is from selling firewood. The Doppenbergs hope to change that, and see the decimated forests returned to their natural state while providing much needed healthy foods for the people who need it.

Rita explains, “We have worked with villages and have in place a ‘Village empowerment Plan’ to give people a hand up instead of a hand out. We have found that the people want to help themselves and all we need to provide is the tools to empower them to do it.”

The DIG Nursery will grow and distribute nutritious foods and seeds for chia, chaya, moringa, fruit bearing trees, as well as reforestation trees. These seedlings and saplings will help the family continue to grow plants and trees in the future, as well as provide them a sustainable supply to distribute to the people.

Funding from the Pollination Project will be used to purchase seeds, seedlings and natural organic nutrients for soil.

To learn more about The DIG Nursery Project, check out their website.

GRANT AWARD DATE: November 9, 2014