Access to healthy food is just the beginning.
Access to healthy food remains a challenge for underserved communities in Berlin, Santander and Los Santos, Santander. To address this challenge, our organization has implemented a garden project aimed at creating community gardens in these regions. By providing the necessary resources and support, we are empowering community members to grow their own produce and gain the knowledge and skills needed to make healthier choices. These community gardens not only increase access to fresh, nutritious food options, but also foster a sense of community and collaboration in these rural areas. Through our garden project, we are working towards a future where everyone has access to the healthy food they need to thrive.
Los Santos Garden Project
Los Santos is our second location where we have implemented community gardens to promote healthy living and education within the community. By providing resources and support for the cultivation of fresh produce, we are empowering individuals and families to make healthier choices and fostering a sense of community through collaborative gardening initiatives.
Kids were creating their own healthy recipes.
In Los Santos, our organization implemented a garden project aimed at educating school children on the benefits of healthy eating and giving them the opportunity to create their own healthy recipes.
Through this project, the children were able to grow their own produce and use it in a series of hands-on cooking workshops. The program not only provided the children with valuable culinary skills, but also increased their awareness of the importance of healthy eating habits.
By fostering a love of fresh, nutritious food from a young age, we are empowering the next generation to make positive choices for their health and wellbeing. Our garden project in Los Santos is just one example of how community-led initiatives can create a brighter, healthier future for everyone.
Berlin Garden Project
In January of 2014, several LAUGHH board members visited the people in Berlin, Santander, Colombia. Berlin is a town high in the Andes mountains. We suggested that a community garden might be a good thing to help provide healthy food to the people. The suggestion was not accepted at that time, because “…it is too cold…won’t work…”. In July of 2014, the entire LAUGHH team went to Berlin to provide primary health care to the people. We still saw a need and so suggested that maybe the school children could start working on a community garden to help provide healthy food. We offered the assistance of nutrition and exercise programs to help the children.
Children were starting their own gardens in their homes.
In July of 2015, gardens were in place, plants were growing, and the children were getting involved. At that time, there were about 12 gardens. Over the next few years, this project grew until most of the children had a garden to work on. And some of the children were starting gardens at their homes. We helped with cooking classes, exercise classes, and nutrition education. The school continues to be involved in teaching exercise and helping the students.
An irrigation system was needed, and they were struggling to get the materials needed. We assisted with that, and the irrigation system is in place. As the number of gardens grew, it was getting harder and harder to prepare the plots for planting. We assisted in getting a gas-powered rototiller to make it easier and more efficient.
In surveys that LAUGHH gave one year, we were able to determine that the residents (children and adults) had increased their knowledge level on healthy foods and good nutrition. We found that drug use had decreased, and crime activity was down. We continue to monitor and help as needed.
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