Children's, Youth &
Community Center

The Family Garden Initiative – Featured Family


Interview with Paula Patiño, Beneficiary of the Family Garden Initiative

Paula Patiño, a native of the Mindo community, and her family are beneficiaries of SALEM Ecuador’s Family Garden Initiative. She and her extended family agreed that between their 4 households they could plant a garden that provides a big part of their family’s food requirement. But they lacked materials. Paula estimates it would have cost them about $500 (over a month’s wages) to buy everything they needed to get started. With only two steadily employed family members between all 20 of them, Paula and her family work hard to keep their kitchens full of healthy food. Her family is very active at SALEM Ecuador and she applied to the Family Garden Initiative.

It took them a week to put up the greenhouse. The Patiño/Orozco family provided the building materials (bamboo harvested from their land), a SALEM volunteer donated plastic for the greenhouse and SALEM gave seeds and seedlings. By April they had the beds planted with several tomato varieties, zuquini, lettuce, herbs, peppers. They now receive regular visits from SALEM volunteers to share gardening tips as well as seeds, seedlings and instruction on how to start a worm composting system. Paula stands in the middle of her garden,

“We are happy because our children are helping and learning with us how to grow organic food. Our family has come together because of the pandemic and even more so because of our family garden.”

The Family Garden Initiative began at SALEM Ecuador in April of this year as a response to the food insecurity that many local families are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With your donation, the Family Garden Initiative can be a permanent collaboration between SALEM Ecuador and local families.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 so The Family Garden Initiative can continue for another full year. We need funding for:

  • tools and supplies with the participating families
  • greenhouse materials so families can garden during the coming rainy season
  • seeds and seedlings to distribute to families
  • wages for two SALEM team members who are currently volunteers and are trained professionals in the field

Your donation will secure the supplies that 50 families need to grow their own food. With your generous donation SALEM beneficiaries will be gardening year-round as early as October. Please donate today and support The Family Garden Initiative.


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